Rules for Marijuana Delivery Drivers During COVID-19
As San Diego County is still operating under the Stay at Home Order in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have had to shift to curbside, takeout, or delivery options to maintain their operations. This has included the cannabis industry, as dispensaries are currently allowed to employ marijuana delivery drivers to fulfill customer orders. However, there are still certain restrictions and regulations that drivers must abide by in order to avoid breaking the law.
What Is Allowed Under the Stay at Home Order?
Currently, cannabis dispensaries are considered essential businesses under California’s Stay at Home Order and are allowed to provide limited operations as long as they abide by COVID-19 regulations, including social distancing, mask requirements, and sanitation policies. Initially, the industry saw a spike in orders during the early days of the lockdown, but the industry has since begun to face the effects of the recession. In order to help businesses stay afloat, California Governor Gavin Newsom loosened some restrictions, including allowing license deferrals, and the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has modified regulations regarding deliveries.
All cannabis dispensaries must abide by state and local regulations regarding distribution and sales, including when providing curbside pickups and deliveries that allow for social distancing. Before any dispensary can begin deliveries, they must submit Operating Procedures to the BCC, as well as a list of all motor vehicles that will be utilized for deliveries. These procedures must be approved by the BCC and all delivery drivers and business must abide by the BCC regulations, which includes limitations on the amount that can be sold to a single individual, the state of the packaging for the products, delivery driver licensing, and restrictions on crossing state lines. Obviously, drivers must also avoid driving while under the influence of marijuana.
Understanding these rules and regulations is imperative to avoid being arrested under marijuana charges, which, while less restrictive than federal laws, still have strict guidelines that must be abided by.
The Complexities of State Marijuana Laws
The legality of marijuana in California is a complicated matter. Technically, under state law, it is legal for an individual who is 21 years or older to possess marijuana; however, it is still prosecutable on a federal level. In addition, the sale and cultivation of marijuana are less restrictive than before 2016, but that does not mean that all operations are legal.
In order to avoid being charged with intent to sell, cultivation, or trafficking, a marijuana dispensary must follow all proper licensing procedures according to the BCC. Violating these procedures can result in the closure of a dispensary, as well as criminal charges if federal law enforcement becomes involved or if the business.
Even for delivery drivers, who are allowed to distribute marijuana under specific local and state ordinances, unlawfully transporting large quantities of marijuana can lead to an intent to sell charge. Drivers should always review and follow all BCC regulations about the amount of marijuana they can transport in one order, how much they can distribute to customers, and maintain their license on them at all times.
If you are arrested on a marijuana charge in San Diego County, make sure to contact a San Diego drug crimes lawyer at jD LAW. With more than 30 years of experience, our legal team can evaluate your case and provide a strong defense against your charges, especially if you are a licensed delivery driver. In addition, our founding attorney is a former-narcotics investigator who has an in-depth understanding of how these cases are prosecuted. To learn how we can help protect your rights, contact us at (760) 630-2000 today.
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