Recreational marijuana sales have been legal in California for a full year now, but some people in communities where commercial dispensaries have been banned do not have easy, reliable access to legal products. That is going to change now that a new regulation was enacted to officially allow home deliveries throughout the Golden State, even into the areas where retail dispensaries are not permitted to operate.
The new rule, handed down from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, clarifies what was set forth when voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016. Proposition 64 allows local governments to decide whether commercial marijuana shops are allowed in each district, but it does not give them the power to “prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads.”
Until now, delivery companies operating legally within an approved area, for example, have not been willing to deliver outside of the district in which they operate for fear of prosecution.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control is simply clarifying that cannabis may be delivered to “any jurisdiction within the state of California,” as long as it is transported by a person with a valid operating license. “The public spoke loud and clear in favor of statewide delivery,” cannabis bureau spokesman Alex Traverso said in a statement.
Those in Favor
Consumers and cannabis delivery companies have been fighting for the right to make and receive home deliveries since so many areas of the state chose to ban retail dispensaries. Consumers are left without local shops from which to make purchases. All residents have the legal right to buy marijuana, but so many are effectively cut off from being able to exercise that right.
Police chiefs were reportedly among those against the rule permitting home deliveries. According to critics, this will open a new space for black market transactions, decreasing or even eliminating the state’s regulations on product quality as well as collection of tax dollars.
Modesto, CA | Modesto parents stood up this week to fight for access to the medical marijuana that they use in the treatment of their epileptic children. On Monday evening the Modesto City Council opened a dialogue discussing restrictions for growing medical marijuana. Proposed rules would have restricted parents who have children from growing at home, as well as limiting medical marijuana gardens to secure indoor grows in single-family dwellings.
This posed some serious problems for families who depend on this medicine to treat their ailing children. The non-psychoactive CBD that parents extract from the plants is much cheaper to produce at home. Depending on stores and other caretakers can be costly.
Katharine Reynolds has an 18-month-old-son, Case, who suffers from a rare disorder called 5Q14.3 Microdeletion Syndrome. Her family depends on their CBD oil to reduce her son’s seizures hundreds of seizures per day, mitigate pain, maintain his quality of life. Reynolds told Fox News 40 that, “Abusing any drug is not right, but when you’re not abusing them and you’re using them to help your children, I think that’s a totally different thing.”
“He actually responds to our voice now, and he’s just much more at peace” – Katharine Reynolds
The Reynolds family doesn’t produce their own CBD oil, citing the difficulty in growing the medicine. Case’s father Mike Reynolds makes the hour-and-a-half drive to Oakland once a month to buy the medicine. Mike says, “If you would have seen him a year ago, he was a completely different kid.” For the Reynolds family, the drive over to Oakland is well worth it, but some parents want to be able to produce the medicine at home.
Mike Reynolds said Monday, “I get that there’s people abusing it, I get that there’s problems but at the same time, there are people that really don’t. I would say we’re probably the polar opposite of what you think about cannabis.”
Luckily, Modesto City Council declined the proposed ordinance citing families such as the Reynolds’ who would be adversely affected. Over 20 people attending the Monday night meeting to speak against the proposed restrictions.
Photo Credit: Fox 40
Emmy award winning journalist, Mike Sugerman, is a registered medical marijuana patient in the state of California. Recently, while suffering from a bacterial infection in his aorta, he was medicating with cannabis, and realized he did not know exactly what was in the medicine he was smoking and eating. He decided to purchase $600 in cannabis flowers, concentrates and edibles for a CBS San Francisco report to have them lab tested in order to satisfy this curiosity. Unfortunately for the medical marijuana world in California, the findings were not good.
The Federal Drug Administration is not permitted to regulate the cannabis industry because the plant is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means it is considered to have no recognized medical use in the United States. It cannot be government regulated until it is re-classified or unclassified all-together. As of October 2014, all cannabis sold at dispensaries in Colorado must be lab tested, but California has no such regulation.
Sugerman realized through ingesting cannabis edibles that the effects produced were inconsistent. Sometimes he would not feel any relief from eating a certain amount of marijuana edibles, while another day eating the exact same amount would cause him to feel overly medicated. The same amount did not result in the same effect.
The investigation included products purchased at 12 different dispensaries throughout San Francisco and Oakland. This $600 worth of medical marijuana buds, edibles, and shatter wax were taken to Steep Hill Labs in Oakland for thorough testing.
An Edipure brand edible scored the worst during testing. According to the label, this particular item contained 100 milligrams, but when lab tested, it only contained 1.3. That is off by 98.7 percent. Chief research officer at Steep Hill, Dr. Kymron Decesare, told Sugerman that they tested this particular item multiple times because of the extreme misrepresentation. Other tested edibles were off by 25 and 50 percent. Steep Hill Labs also concluded that gummy bears and lozenges sold in the same package were not consistently dosed because the measure milligrams varied from piece to piece.
The cannabis flowers that were tested also produced worrisome results for medical marijuana smokers in California. Both mold and pesticides were abundant, and over 40 percent of the flowers tested would not be sold under Colorado regulations. Molds like aspergillums and penicillin contain deadly toxins that could result in death.
The cannabis shatter, a concentrated form that is used for dabs, also tested poorly. Steep Hill found that 15 percent of this product contained benzene. Benzene is a hydrocarbon component of gasoline that is not approved for human consumption.
Unfortunately, this means that medical marijuana patients in California, specifically in San Francisco and Oakland, may not know what they are purchasing. A lab testing fail of this magnitude will hopefully spawn regulation reform in the state of California in the very near future.
photo credit: Dank Depot