New Cannabis Delivery Laws in California: How to Legally Deliver Weed

Stay up-to-date with the Department of Cannabis Control’s new regulations

Cannabis delivery in California is extremely lucrative and growing fast. Eaze, a California-based cannabis delivery app, estimated that a marijuana order was placed on their platform every eight seconds in 2020. 

As the market continues to experience rapid growth, California has worked to create rules and regulations for cannabis delivery that help businesses stay compliant and keep consumers safe. The newest regulations went live on September 27, 2021 and are covered in this post.  

A snapshot of California’s cannabis history

California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use by way of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Twenty years later, California voters helped legalize the use of recreational cannabis and sales went live by January 2018. 

Marijuana tax revenue by state in 2020 (1)California has processed more cannabis sales than any other state. Just last year, California raked in over one billion dollars in marijuana tax revenue. 

As the Golden State continues to see explosive growth in the cannabis industry, efforts have been made to simplify the way things are run. 

Gavin Newsom signed legislation July 12 to create the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), which consolidated three cannabis regulatory agencies into one. The goal of the merger is to “improve access to licensure, simplify regulatory oversight and support California businesses,” according to a press release that announced Newsom’s signing of the bill.

Prior to the DCC, cannabis business owners and licensees had to comply with regulations from three programs: the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. The move to a single department helps create consistency and continuity among California’s cannabis regulations and licensing.

The merge of the three programs to the DCC is ongoing. More information can be found on their new website:

New regulations changes for cannabis delivery in California

On September 15, 2021, the DCC sent the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) a request to adopt its emergency regulations. The OAL approved the newest emergency regulations at the end of September and they are now in effect. 

Businesses that offer cannabis delivery should be aware of the following changes that have taken place this year. 

Onboard Amount

Delivery drivers were only allowed to carry up to $3,000 worth of cannabis product in their vehicle at one time. Now drivers can carry cannabis products with a value up to $5,000 in a delivery vehicle. This increase allows drivers to make more deliveries after departing the dispensary and provides a larger variety of products to be on hand for on-the-fly deliveries. 

Another new regulation mandates that if a driver leaves a dispensary prior to an order being received and processed by a licensed retailer, then the value of cannabis goods may not exceed $3,000.

Locked Container

For compliance and safety reasons, the BCC now requires all cannabis goods to be kept in a locked box or container that is secured to the inside of the vehicle (in the cab or trunk). Access to the locked box or container must be limited to the driver of the vehicle being used to make deliveries. 

Currently, there are no specifications on the type, material, or size of a container that can be used to transport cannabis goods. Businesses are able to select whatever containers or boxes they want, just as long as they have a locking mechanism.

Sales and Inventory Ledger

In order to stay compliant with the BCC’s new regulations, delivery drivers must record all transactions as they occur. Additionally, drivers must maintain a live inventory that is adjusted in-between sales.   

The ledger is required to include the following information: the type of cannabis product, retail price, brand, track and trace number, and the weight/volume/number of pieces per package.

Ledgers can be physical or digital and must be in a driver’s possession at all times during deliveries. 

Real-Time Tracking

The Bureau requires cannabis businesses to be able to locate and track drivers. A destination log must be kept for each driver to show where each order was fulfilled. This log must include all stops made while a driver is out completing deliveries. Drivers with no deliveries scheduled for a 30 minute period or more are required to return to the dispensary. 

Cannabis businesses can use apps like Beans Route to track drivers in real time, while also providing customers with accurate ETA’s and notifications.   

Extra Stops

The newly revised emergency regulations clarify allowable activities that a driver is permitted to do while making deliveries. Drivers are able to fulfill orders, fill up on gas, make vehicle repairs, and rest for a “reasonable amount of time.”  

The BCC does not provide a further explanation for what type of rest is allowed or for exactly how long, but businesses should be careful to instruct their employees to still return to the dispensary to take their breaks. 

What’s next?

The rules and regulations surrounding cannabis delivery in California may continue to change. An easy way to stay up-to-date with the DCC’s changes is by visiting their website

If you own a cannabis delivery service in California, you can also use a business management software to help you stay compliant with the DCC’s regulations. Software like Beans Route provides real-time driver tracking (now required by the DC) and other features that can help your business grow, such as: dynamic route planning, timesheets and scheduling, route progress in dispatcher, and hyper-accurate location information with waypoints that direct a driver straight to a customer’s front door at apartments and other secondary address locations. 

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