California Medical Marijuana Delivery Service

Q: What is a California Medical Marijuana Delivery Service?  What documents do I need to start one? 

A: The term “delivery service” is nowhere defined under California law, so if you’ve been looking for a legal description, you won’t find it.  Popularly defined, a delivery service in California is any manner of transportation of medical marijuana to a patient or primary caregiver for a patient.  California Dispensaries often provide, as an additional service to patients, for the delivery of medical marijuana from the dispensary to the patient’s home.  This serves to accommodate those patients too ill to physically go to the storefront in order to obtain what they require to treat their conditions.

Pursuant to the California Attorney General’s guidelines, every association of patients seeking to engage in the collective growth and distribution of medical marijuana to persons at other locations should obtain proper documentation from the California Secretary of State and municipal authorities.  This normally includes a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization, a Business License from any city in which the delivery service plans to operate, and any additional licenses or permits applicable to the particular method of transportation.  Of course a delivery service must also be not for profit as are dispensaries and cooperatives, and therefore anyone seeking to form a delivery service as a service unrelated to a dispensary should form a non-profit entity for the service itself.  Any delivery service should also provide additional documentation for drivers and employees evidencing the legality of both the patient (to receive the medical marijuana) and the driver (the authorization to transport on behalf of the patient).

Like dispensaries, a California delivery service is still subject to laws regulating the transportation of medical marijuana among patients, and the reasonability of the amount transported.  The premise of a delivery service is that any recipient of the medical marijuana is also a member of the collective of the delivery service.  The act of delivery from the collective to the patient therefore is no different than if the patients were providing medical marijuana to each other within the same household: the transportation remains among patients, closed circuit, and helps to ensure that illegal transports do not occur.  But the operators must still be aware of the reasonability requirements of transporting to patients, for regardless of whether medical marijuana is transported to the patient or simply grown for personal use, the patient may only use an amount to which they reasonably require.  People v. Wayman (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 215.

Be warned: conceptually and factually, delivery services remain a legal uncertainty and ambiguity under California medical marijuana laws.  Since they are neither expressly permitted nor prohibited by state law, it is not uncommon for county and municipal authorities to make their own regulations to either restrict delivery services or prohibit them entirely.  You should absolutely consult with a qualified attorney prior to engaging in any activity relating to a delivery service.

Beck Law P.C. offers an entire scope of California Medical Marijuana services to medical marijuana clients in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, Kelseyville and throughout Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake County.

Beck Law P.C. can furnish the experience and knowledge to help guide you through the legal aspects of your current situation, needs or plans. Making an appointment to meet with us is an investment in exploring what options may or may not apply to your particular situation. Your visit to the Beck Law Offices is confidential, as is the information discussed. You can contact our office at 707-576-7175 or contact us online.


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