Lawsuit Challenging California Cannabis Deliveries Dismissed, But Status Quo Remains

On November 17, 2020, the Fresno County Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by 24 California cities seeking to invalidate state cannabis regulations that allow delivery of cannabis to customers in jurisdictions that have banned retail commercial cannabis activity. Many industry players and media are touting the dismissal as a “win” for California cannabis companies. We have a different take. That’s because after the dismissal, cities and counties are still allowed to ban delivery. It’s just that the state Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will not be compelled to enforce those prohibitionist local ordinances.

As we explained last year, the plaintiffs in the action sought to invalidate and permanently enjoin enforcement of Title 16, section 5416(d) of the California Code of Regulations. According to plaintiffs, Regulation 5416(d) permits the delivery of commercial cannabis to a physical address anywhere in the state, which conflicts with the plain language of Business and Professions Code sections 26090 and 26200. Business and Professions Code section 26090(e) allows deliveries of cannabis, but only if such operations comply with local law. Section 26200(a) allows a local jurisdiction to regulate or completely prohibit the operation of commercial cannabis businesses within its boundaries. Plaintiffs contend that

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