State AG Joins Pot Shop’s Delivery Suit Against Santa Cruz County

For local governments, one of the major selling points of Prop 64 was the discretion given to cities and counties to decide where marijuana could be sold. That all changed this year when new Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) regulations approved cannabis deliveries statewide, allowing retail marijuana to be sold and transported to homes even in jurisdictions that have banned commercial pot.

A group of local governments have sued, saying the BCC rules violate the language approved by voters. Now, State Attorney General Xavier Becerra is intervening, ratcheting up an already contentious battle between California and its localities.

Becerra has filed a motion on behalf of the BCC to join a lawsuit by Salinas-based East of Eden Cannabis Co. The company is suing Santa Cruz County, claiming its cannabis delivery restrictions violate the BCC’s rules.

“The state is now lending the power of the attorney’s general office to a business seeking to break [Prop 64’s] promise,” said Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin (Los Angeles Times). “It is beyond disappointing and should be alarming to cities and counties throughout California.” 

The original lawsuit over deliveries was filed by a group of cities and counties in Fresno. Hoppin believes the state may be trying to have the issue decided in Santa Cruz, where marijuana is more popular.

Becerra’s office has deferred any questions to the BCC, which says it cannot comment on pending litigation.


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