Drones won't be delivering weed in California any time soon

Saqib Shah

In the near future, your pizza, Big Mac, and groceries could all be delivered autonomously. But, the good Cali folk out there expecting their newly legalized batches of pot to arrive in the same manner, are in for a bummer. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently declared that weed deliveries cannot be made by autonomous vehicles -- that includes UAVs and unmanned self-driving cars. Therefore, don't go expecting the robotdelivering your munchies to bring you Scooby Snacks too.


"Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles," according to the bureau's business licensing regulations. It adds: "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."

California voted to legalize marijuana in November. And, by early next year, the state is expected to start dishing out licenses to thousands of businesses that intend to cultivate and sell pot. With projections placing the market for legal weed at $5 billion, it's no wonder that a number of startups are also trying to make some cash by transporting cannabis. As Ars Technica points out, the likes of MDelivers, Eaze, Trees Delivery have all promised to autonomously deliver your pot. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. But hey, at least you can still rely on drones for the Domino's hook-up after you pop to the dispensary.

California Bureau of Cannabis Control (pdf)