Drones can deliver anything. It’s actually kind of terrifying to analyze the profound impact on delivery drones will have on our near future (bye-bye mailman), but there’s one item drones won’t deliver anytime soon. That would be cannabis.
As first spotted by Ars Technica, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control will prohibit any weed delivery by an autonomous vehicle. Currently the Bureau is establishing regulation of cannabis use and sales under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) following legalization in California.
“Cannabis goods will be required to be transported inside commercial vehicles or trailers,” reads the program description. “Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.”
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This will place a significant roadblock on startups designed around transporting cannabis goods and products like Eaze and MDelivers. Both were exploring drone-delivery for their products, but might soon be in danger. While some patients receive prescriptions through the mail, that transportation must be done by human-manned vehicle.
“Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries,” the program states. “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.
California will continue to work out kinks and regulations of establishing a large-scale cannabis economy in its state moving forward. For now, robots might not be part of the equation.