Marijuana delivery to all of California? Measure would expand access

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There’s a problem with access to legal weed in California, and a Senate bill may help solve it.

A 2016 voter-approved measure to legalize marijuana in the state gave cities and counties the authority to pass regulations outlining the types of weed businesses that can operate within their borders. With limited time to craft rules before the law took effect at the start of the year, many towns approved outright bans of all marijuana businesses.

The patchwork of local laws have created vast “pot deserts” that will remain until cities and counties opt to reconsider rules. A Bee analysis in March found that 40 percent of the state is 60 miles or more from a legal dispensary.

In theory, marijuana delivery companies willing to trek to outlying areas might help fill that gap. But state law also allows cities and counties to ban delivery companies headquartered elsewhere from driving weed to consumers within their borders.

Senate BIll 1302, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would permit operators licensed by the state and a local jurisdiction to delivery weed anywhere in California.

The bill, sponsored by the delivery company WeDrop and Americans for Safe Access, is expected to clear the Senate Governance and Finance Committee Wednesday. The committee meets at 9:30 a.m. in room 112.

UC CENTER TALK: A UC San Francisco professor will dig into the data behind a reported shortage of nurses in California and the United States during the latest installment of the UC Center Sacramento’s weekly speaker series. Professor Joanne Spetz is expected to dissect trends on open positions, employment settings and pay to analyze the current and future problems in the healthcare industry.

MUST READ: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein flipped her opposition to marijuana legalizationTuesday and now says the federal government shouldn’t interfere with California’s weed market. The reversal came more than two weeks after her more liberal challenger, state Sen. Kevin de Leónpledged to co-sponsor Sen. Cory Booker‘s bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level if he’s elected.

BROWN BAG: Join reporter Adam Ashton for a state worker brown bag lunch in The Bee Capitol Bureau next week. On May 8, we’ll hold a meeting for state workers and retirees to discuss how we cover what you care about. RSVP via Facebook message, Twitter (@TheStateWorker) or email (aashton@sacbee.com).

By: Taryn Luna

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