Some cities that banned cannabis dispensaries went to court to prevent deliveries of the drug to their residents. Above, Ñ Cheryl Luell of the Healing Center in Needles, Calif. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
SACRAMENTO — In a win for California’s struggling cannabis industry, a Fresno judge has dismissed a lawsuit by 24 cities seeking to invalidate state regulations allowing delivery of cannabis to homes in communities that have outlawed sales in shops.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Rosemary McGuire said in a ruling made public Wednesday that she agreed with attorneys for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control that the state regulation does not prevent cities from enforcing local ordinances restricting home delivery.
“On the basis of that conclusion, the court finds that this matter is not ripe for adjudication, and dismisses the action as to all plaintiffs,” McGuire wrote in the ruling signed on Tuesday.
Attorneys for the cities were not immediately available for comment on whether they would appeal the court ruling.
Santa Cruz County and 24 cities including Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Covina and Riverside had filed the lawsuit asking the judge to invalidate the state regulation that allows delivery in all cities, including those that ban pot shops. The cities argued the regulation undermined their local planning powers.
The lawsuit by the cities also said the state regulation allowing delivery everywhere in the state violates a promise of Proposition 64, the 2016 initiative that legalized the sale of cannabis for recreational use. The cities say that ballot measure promised that local governments would have veto power over the sale of cannabis in their jurisdictions.
The challenged regulation adopted by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control “directly conflicts with local autonomy,” J. Scott Miller, an attorney for the cities, told the judge during a court hearing on Monday.
Published: November 19, 2020