Self-Driving Cars Won't Deliver You Weed In California

Photo: AP

Pizza? Sure. People seem keen to the idea of letting a robocar deliver a greasy pie to your door. Marijuana? Not so much—at least in California. The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control issued emergency regulations last week that ban autonomous vehicles from delivering a bag of weed to you, reports Ars Technica.

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The decision comes ahead of a January 1 deadline, when regulators are slated to begin issuing retail licenses for prospective weed shops. The Golden State legalized marijuana last fall’s general election.

It’s expected to be a boon for weed shops and startups looking to make a buck, but the cannabis control bureau is outright banning any unmanned or autonomous vehicles from making a delivery.

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Here’s more from Ars Technica:

“Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles,” according to the emergency regulations (PDF) unveiled Wednesday by the state’s cannabis bureau, which anticipates issuing 11,500 retail licenses the first year alone.

Sure, you can get pharmaceutical prescriptions via the mail, but not marijuana. That’s gotta be done by a human-driven car, according to the regulations.

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The regulation itself lays it out in further detail:

Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries. Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.

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Future delivery drivers of California, take note, too: The regulations ban you from being stoned while making a run, as Daily Dot notes. The new rules could inhibit some drone delivery startsup from getting off the ground, Daily Dot reports.

So, if you hoped to be showered by a drone dropping weed on you, or hoped to replace your dealer with a robot, all I can say is sorry.

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About the author

Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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