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Drones in California’s Cannabis Industry

Photo/istock/Leonid Eremeychuk 

Recreational cannabis is now legal in California; however, this sector is heavily regulated. Supply chain management is a vital component in most product focused industries and poor distribution can hurt or even wipe-out a business. Drones are currently being deployed for high valued crops like vineyards and there is potential future use for drones within the cannabis sector of California. Current regulations are allowing drones to grow in the industry, but it’s most likely that drones won’t be flying-high in the cannabis industry over California’s skies anytime soon. 
 
The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (CBCC) has regulatory rules that ban drones from delivering cannabis. All cannabis-related products are by state law, required to transport by ground transport inside commercial vehicles and trailers. They can’t be transported via watercraft, unmanned aircraft or vehicles, human-powered vehicles, and drones. The CBCC has been working on other regulations that surround cannabis sales and use under the Adult-Use and Medicinal Cannabis Regulation & Safety Act. 
 
These regulations have been in place for a while now and some residents believe it won’t last forever. It’s inevitable that weed-delivery companies like Eaze and Amazon will be the pioneers in this sector and it’s just a matter of time before the ban is lifted on drone deliveries for cannabis and the state of California will be playing catch-up with the times. The amount of money that the State of California stands to gain is staggering and could help the state’s deficit and be used to regenerate lands scorched by wildfires? It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the upcoming months and if drones will be flying-high over California’s future cash crop?