Adult-use marijuana will be legal and sold in California on Monday. While some towns have banned the sale of cannabis, the state says it is officially legal on January 1st. Despite the imminent legalization, state police pulled over the drivers of a licensed marijuana delivery service, arrested them and confiscated a ton of marijuana last week.
While the county issued licenses to Old Kai Distribution to transport marijuana and prepare the county for recreational sales, state police said the state license will not be valid until January 1st. The owners of Old Kai Distribution are outraged.
The workers for Old Kai Distribution were transporting the marijuana from a farm when they were pulled over Friday afternoon by a California Highway Patrol officer on Highway 101 near Ukiah, according to Joe Rogoway, an attorney for the company. They were driving an unmarked van and were stopped for a traffic violation.
The workers showed the officer the company’s county license and a manifest for the marijuana, but the officer insisted it was illegal, called for backup and arrested the men.
The company argues it can transport marijuana within the county with its local license, and county spokeswoman Sarah Dukett backed that interpretation. She said Old Kai was issued a distribution license last week that allows it to legally transport marijuana under two local ordinances passed earlier this year.
The workers were cited for unlawful transportation of marijuana and unlawful possession for sale. Investigators also seized all of the marijuana and the company’s van.
“It is incomprehensible that this has occurred,” said Rogoway, who sent a letter to CHP demanding that the charges be dropped and the marijuana returned to Old Kai.
Acting California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley said the arrest was appropriate because a state license also is required for legal transport and those permits don’t take effect until Monday, when broad legalization arrives in California.
It’s curious that state police and authorities have been criticized for failing to monitor marijuana leaving the state, yet the liberal state is being so particular regarding marijuana that was staying within state borders. Should all of the marijuana be returned to Old Kai Distribution and the charges dropped?
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