Drones for the Cannabis Industry in California

Supply chain management is important in most if not all product focused industries. Poor distribution can greatly harm or even kill a business. Recreational marijuana is now legal in California, but this emerging industry is heavily regulated. There is heavy potential for drones in the cannabis industry. Drones are currently being used for high valued crops grown at smaller spatial scales, such as vineyards and barriers. [1] Lighter regulations for the drone industry are allowing the industry to grow but drones may not be touching the cannabis industry for a while.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has regulatory rules in place that ban drones from delivering marijuana. Cannabis related products are required to be transported via ground transport inside commercial trailers and vehicles. They cannot be transported via drone, watercraft, human-powered vehicles, unmanned vehicles or aircraft. The Bureau also been working on other regulations surround marijuana use and sales under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.[2] Though these regulations may be in place for some time, others feel they won’t last very long. Matt Gray, the CEO of HERB, a digital media company for the marijuana industry says, "It's inevitable that companies like Amazon and weed-delivery companies like Eaze will be into this," and that it as a "matter of time" before California lifts the ban on drone deliveries and the state's regulations catch-up with "innovation."[3] It is going to be interesting to see how rules and regulations change in upcoming months.

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[1] https://www.suasnews.com/2017/12/potential-drones-commercial-weed/

[2] https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/11/16286350/california-ban-drones-delivery-marijuana

[3] http://www.businessinsider.com/pot-deliveries-by-drone-to-be-banned-california-2017-9

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