California doesn't want customers to get weed by drone

Gwen Vasquez
September 11, 2017

The publication comes after Californians voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but before the state starts handing out business licenses in 2018.

According to Ars Technica, California's impending legal weed regulations will ban the use of unmanned delivery drones and self-driving cars, requiring mobile budtenders to deliver orders in old-fashioned human-driven vehicles. "Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles".

"Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers", the regulations state.

Last month, a 25-year-old United States citizen smuggled more than 13 pounds of meth to California from Mexico by drone.

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This announcement will no doubt be unwelcome news for proposed autonomous cannabis delivery start-ups in California like MDelivers, Eaze, Trees Delivery. Sure, a drone can already deliver you a pizza in California. Some critics even argue that drones, devoid of tracking facility, could be used to facilitate narcotics trafficking. Drivers also can't park their vehicles in residential areas overnight if they still have marijuana inside.

When retail outlets in California finally get permission to start selling recreational marijuana at the start of 2018, thanks to a vote a year ago, there's one notable way they won't be able to deliver the drug-by drone.

While the rules are decidedly unchill, early regulations from the Bureau of Cannabis Control will help prove the state is being careful to avoid becoming a complete Wild Westworld of robots screwing up weed deliveries. California, which legalized recreational marijuana by passing Proposition 64 in 2016, will begin issuing licenses to retailers and businesses on January 1st of next year. It is estimated to be worth $5 billion.

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