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California Regulators Release Retail Industry Draft Rules

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has published the initial version of rules that would govern the state’s retail cannabis market, which includes a ban on using drones to transport cannabis products from cultivator to dispensary. The rules also prohibit transportation “by aircraft, watercraft, rail … human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.” However, the regulations seem to allow for businesses to make deliveries to customers via bicycle or on foot.

“Some existing medicinal cannabis dispensaries offer delivery of cannabis and cannabis products to qualified patients,” the report says. “Deliveries are typically made by automobile, although some delivery personnel may use bicycles or make deliveries on foot, particularly in urban areas.”

The report also includes language that indicates “smoking and vaping lounges” would be allowed under the regime, but retailers “must apply for and receive a conditional use permit” from the city or town they seek to open the business. The report notes that while local jurisdictions could issue the permits, “on-site consumption is outside the scope” of the agency’s discretion and they would not issue such licenses.

Moreover, the proposals include testing, retail location, and other operational requirements. The testing requirements include a list of banned pesticides and molds and fungus that would result in a test failure. The BCC proposal includes heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury among them but they do not offer a threshold for failure.

The draft rules are subject to a 30-day public comment period before taking effect.

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