México: Viene La Legalización de Cannabis. Y Usted…¿¿Se Lanza Ahora?? 

 

Esta semana la Cámara de Senadores aprobó una iniciativa que contiene el borrador de una Ley Federal para la Regulación del Cannabis (le “Ley del Cannabis”), la cual contiene reformas a la Ley General de Salud, así como al Código Penal Federal, y fue modificada por una útil Adenda. La iniciativa así modificada se encuentra en camino a la Cámara de Diputados para su discusión y, si todo sale bien, aprobación. Ésta es una gran noticia para la industria cannábica mexicana.

Aunque la iniciativa sometida en un principio a consideración de los Senadores presentaba rasgos previsibles (y quizá otras restricciones, más alarmantes), la Adenda resulta sumamente prometedora. Prevemos que, de aprobarse por la Cámara de Diputados, la Ley del Cannabis será publicada junto con el Reglamento Médico que comentaremos líneas abajo. México estaría con ello legalizando de golpe la totalidad del mercado cannábico, para todos los usos.

Un poco de contexto: como reporté previamente en este blog, con las reformas de 2017 a la Ley General de Salud y al Código Penal Federal se legalizó la cannabis con fines médicos y de investigación, incluyendo su uso, posesión, consumo, exportación e importación. En 2018, la Suprema Corte de Justicia generaría jurisprudencia al declarar, por quinta ocasión, la inconstitucionalidad de la prohibición del derecho al autoconsumo y el autocultivo para fines recreativos por parte de mayores de edad, y ordenaría a la Secretaría de Salud, la COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios) y demás organismos responsables promulgar la legislación necesaria para armonizar con la sentencia emitida, garantizando así, el suministro, distribución y venta de la cannabis.

El año pasado, una sentencia de la Suprema Corte de Justicia impuso el mandato a la Secretaría de Salud de emitir la legislación secundaria que permitiera hacer efectivas las reformas de 2017 antedichas, correspondientes al uso médico y de investigación, imponiendo para hacerlo como fecha límite (prorrogada) septiembre de 2020. El Reglamento aún no se publica. Pero, en el lado positivo, la iniciativa que acaba de ser aprobada por la Cámara de Senadores sí busca cumplir con el mandato de la Suprema Corte de 2018, el cual impuso una fecha límite para legislar el uso adulto, igual prorrogada ya algunas veces y que hoy vence el 15 de diciembre de 2020.

La Ley del Cannabis reglamenta el uso adulto o recreacional y el industrial (cáñamo). No obstante, expresamente deja fuera el uso médico, terapéutico o paliativo. Ello se debe a que 1) el uso médico ya es legal, como consecuencia de las reformas de 2017, mencionadas arriba y 2) dicho uso será expresamente reglamentado por un Reglamento Médico cuyo borrador –entendemos- está listo, y que esperamos sea publicado en el Diario Oficial de la Federación casi o al mismo tiempo que la Ley del Cannabis, de aprobarse.

Dicho lo anterior, a continuación, presentamos los cambios más disruptivos contenido en la Ley del Cannabis:

  • Se consolida el porcentaje del 1% en adelante en concentraciones de THC como el estándar base para considerar al cannabis como psicoactivo, lo que significa que México seguirá el estándar internacional y no el norteamericano.
  • El uso adulto, así como la posesión de hasta 28 gramos de cannabis se vuelven legales para mayores de 18 años.
  • Las personas físicas finalmente podrán solicitar permisos de autoconsumo y autocultivo para uso adulto: hasta 6 plantas por titular y 8, cuando en un domicilio habite más de un titular de permiso. No habrá necesidad de instalar barreras físicas para consumir: será suficiente asegurarse que el humo no llegue a menores de edad o fumadores pasivos.
  • Se crea el concepto de “asociaciones de consumo de cannabis psicoactivo”, una asociación civil sin fines de lucro donde titulares de permisos individuales de autoconsumo y autocultivo pueden realizar juntos las actividades inherentes al uso adulto, bajo requerimientos específicos y siempre que mantengan una distancia de, al menos, 500 metros de cualquier área recreativa, escuela, espacio libre de humo, etc.
  • Se prevé el otorgamiento de licencias para las siguientes actividades, de acuerdo a los fines permitidos: cultivo, transformación, comercialización, importación o exportación (aunque en este caso, no para cannabis psicoactivo) e investigación. Las licencias incluirán autorización para actividades auxiliares a aquéllas que se autorizan: transporte, almacenamiento y, en el caso de las licencias de cultivo y transformación, venta al siguiente eslabón de la cadena productiva, siempre que el comprador sea titular de la licencia correspondiente.
  • Se permitirá la verticalidad de licencias, y no habrá restricción alguna a partes relacionadas para solicitar otras licencias, lo cual abre la posibilidad de generar alianzas que cubran la totalidad de la cadena productiva. Sin embargo, la Secretaría de Salud y la Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica mantendrán la prerrogativa de restringir e incluso revocar las licencias, basados en consideraciones de competencia económica o justicia social. Se espera que las autoridades analicen el ejercicio de estas facultades caso por caso.
  • Las licencias de cultivo ampararán una extensión límite de 8 hectáreas a cielo abierto y 2 mil m2 bajo cubierta por titular. Se dará preferencia en su otorgamiento a aquellos grupos considerados vulnerables o afectados por el sistema prohibitivo (indígenas, ejidatarios, campesinos, etc.). Sin embargo, si un miembro de alguno de esos grupos desea solicitar una licencia, deberá obtener autorización previa de las autoridades ejidales correspondientes.
  • Los extranjeros, bajo las restricciones al capital extranjero ya contenidas en la Ley de Inversión Extranjera, podrán constituir una sociedad mexicana para solicitar sus licencias. 
  • Se creará el Instituto para la Regulación y el Control del Cannabis (el “Instituto”), un organismo desconcentrado de la Secretaría de Salud, que tendrá a su cargo todos los aspectos relaticos al control de la industria, lo que incluye las políticas y lineamientos para el otorgamiento de licencias.
  • Se reglamentará el cáñamo, si bien superficialmente.

Como puede verse, la iniciativa aprobada y su contenido son muy buenas noticias y, si no se modifica en demasía en la Cámara de Diputados, podría allanar el camino para que México se vuelva, gracias a su posición geográfica (al lado de los dos mayores mercados cannábicos del mundo) y clima, en una potencia industrial y mercado global para el cannabis.

Ahora bien, es importante que entendamos tres cosas:

Primero, usar cannabis ya es legal, gracias a las reformas de 2017 y a la jurisprudencia emitida por la Suprema Corte. Solamente no se encuentra reglamentado, que es lo que mantiene a la industria en un estado de incertidumbre jurídica.

Segundo, la existencia de reglamentación en sí misma importa más restricciones a las actividades que la falta de ella.

Tercero, si bien el cannabis será completamente legal una vez que la Ley del Cannabis y el Reglamento Médico sean promulgados, eso no significa que usted podrá solicitare licencias en cuanto dicha legislación entre en vigor. El Instituto debe constituirse, emitir su estatuto orgánico, lineamientos, etc. Así, una vez que ello ocurra, se deberá esperar 90 días para poder solicitar licencias de investigación, mientras que deberá esperarse 6 meses para licencias que amparen actividad con cannabis no psicoactivo y 18 meses para los permisos y licencias que involucren uso adulto y cannabis psicoactivo. Por lo que se refiere a licencias de cultivo, no podrán solicitarse mientras el Instituto no emita lineamientos de testado y trazabilidad.

Lo anterior resalta la conveniencia de solicitar licencias cannábicas antes de que la legalización tenga lugar. Sí, buscar licencias sin mediar un marco regulatorio puede ser más difícil, pero si las otorga la autoridad, necesariamente serán de alcance más amplio que las licencias que se otorguen una vez que entren en vigor la Ley del Cannabis y el Reglamento Médico. En efecto, como he escrito anteriormente, pueden evitarse las restricciones que se impondrán a la inversión extranjera en la industria cannábica, así como aquéllas que se impondrán a las licencias en cuanto a su verticalidad, amplitud de las actividades autorizadas y delimitación geográfica. Más allá de eso, los primeros solicitantes que tengan éxito estarán a años de distancia de sus competidores en términos de sentido local para los negocios, comprensión de las necesidades de los consumidores y, sobre todo, participación de mercado. Todo esto compensa con creces el solicitar licencias con anticipación y pelear legalmente cualquier negativa o rechazo de sus solicitudes. Después de todo, los mismos transitorios de la Ley del Cannabis prevén que “[t]odos los procedimientos, recursos administrativos y demás asuntos relacionados con las materias a que refiere este Decreto, iniciados con anterioridad a su entrada en vigor, se tramitarán y resolverán conforme a las disposiciones vigentes en ese momento.”

Así que ya lo saben: se viene un boom del mercado, pero hay que ir por esas licencias HOY.

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Ketamine, Psilcobyin and New Drug Therapies (Part 2): The Webinar Video Replay

For anyone who was not able to join our Q&A webinar last week on psychedelics, we’ve got you covered! Below, please find the full webinar for your viewing pleasure.

If you missed part one of this two-part webinar, you can watch it HERE.

 

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Cannabis Trademarking in Brazil

An appeals court in Brazil is set to consider the issue of cannabis-related trademarks, and in particular their registrability under the country’s Intellectual Property Law (LPI), which forbids the registration of marks “contrary to morals and good customs” (Article 124, III).

One of the key issues at the intersection of cannabis law and cannabis business is the protection of the intellectual property rights (IPR). This is a frequent topic on this blog, with my colleague Alison Malsbury in particular keeping close tabs on developments in the United States. Having spent a significant part of my career working with international brands to protect their IPR in emerging markets, I’ve seen how intellectual property law is usually one of the “early movers” as a country’s legal system adapts to changing economic realities. Companies will be wary of engaging in even basic activities in a new market if they cannot obtain at least de jure protection for their trademarks.

Not surprisingly, IPR protection is also one of the first issues to come up as legal systems begin to respond to the increasing normalization of cannabis. In this, Latin America and Brazil in particular are no exceptions. One common tension is between the natural desire of cannabis entrepreneurs to protect their creations and distinguish their products from the competition, and legal provisions that deny IPR protections to certain products, as a matter of public policy. The LPI’s prohibition on marks “contrary to morals and good customs” is a textbook example of the latter. (For a great example of how these tensions manifest themselves outside both the trademark and cannabis contexts, read about the Oncomouse.)

In some instances, the determination of whether a mark runs afoul of Article 124 is uncomplicated. For example, the National Institute of Intellectual Property’s (INPI) Trademark Manual uses a swastika and the word mark KU KLUX KLAN as examples of marks that are not registrable under any circumstances.

With cannabis, however, the line is not as clear. The Trademark Manual itself provides some leeway. The evaluation of whether a mark is contrary to morals and good customs “should take into account the characteristics of the product or service market that the mark aims to distinguish, such as the type of target audience (general or specific), as well as the distribution, marketing and advertising channels of the products or services in question.”

In practice, this has led to apparent inconsistencies. According to one intellectual property lawyer quoted by Valor Econômico in an article about the topic, the process is “super subjective.” For example, INPI approved the mark ULTRA 420 for a tobacconist, while rejecting the mark 4EVINTE for a different tobacconist (4EVINTE sounds like 420 in Portuguese).

The tobacconist seeking the registration of the 4EVINTE has appealed INPI’s decision in the Federal Regional Court of the First Region (TRF1), based in Brasilia. TRFs are roughly equivalent to the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and as often happens in the United States, there is contrary jurisprudence in a different region, specifically the Rio-based TRF for the Second Region (TRF2). According to the Valor Econômico article, this summer the TRF2 denied the application for registration of the BRAZILIAN CANNABIS and BRAZILLIAN [sic] MARIHUANA marks.

It is worth pointing out, however, that although INPI rejected the marks on moral grounds, the TRF2 “understood that they have no distinctiveness, that is, they use generic terms that designate characteristics of the products to which they refer – cigarettes without tobacco and herbs, for medicinal purposes, derived from cannabis.” It is hard to see how the 4EVINTE mark could be turned down for being generic, which might require the TRF1 to confront the morality issue.

Compared to some of its neighbors, Brazil has been timid when it comes to cannabis legalization. That said, as the region’s largest economy (and one of the world’s largest), the country holds incredible promise, not just as a consumer market, but as a hotbed of research and innovation. And as the trademark tiffs demonstrate, Brazilian cannabis entrepreneurs are ready to roll.

In all, it is a market worth watching, and by that we mean Brazil generally. Despite COVID woes, “The Brazilian economy in 2020 and 2021 (will) be less affected than that of the median of emerging countries,” in part due to a robust fiscal response by the government to offset unemployment. With the incorporation of São Paulo-based attorney Rodrigo Guedes Nunes, Harris Bricken is well positioned to assist clients with any legal matters in Brazil.

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Citywide Psychedelic Decriminalization Doesn’t Protect Commercial Activities

Over the last year, a handful of cities have passed decriminalization measures for psilocybin and other plant psychedelics. Denver was the first jurisdiction to pass a decriminalization measure, and Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, and most recently, Washington, D.C., followed suit.

Each of these decriminalization measures is different, but fundamentally they are the same in that they do not actually make psychedelics legal. All they really do is direct law enforcement in those cities to make enforcement of existing criminal laws a low priority, and only then for non-commercial possession and use. Decriminalization measures don’t change state or federal law, and even don’t really change local law.

These limitations on decriminalization are pretty significant. First off, law enforcement is generally not precluded from making arrests, just directed to make them a low priority. This still gives law enforcement discretion to make arrests. Second, decriminalization is generally limited to specific non-commercial activities. While using or possessing certain psychedelics may be “protected”, engaging in commercial activities is not.

It is clear that even in decriminalization jurisdictions, commercial sales are not yet authorized. We want to examine two case studies following the implementation of various decriminalization efforts to show how risky things can be.

Let’s start in Denver, the first city to decriminalize psilocybin. In late September 2020, a man pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of psilocybin with intent to distribute. Sentencing is set for early December 2020. According to a press release by federal prosecutors:

According to the stipulated facts contained in the defendant’s plea agreement, Milner had a sophisticated psilocybin mushroom cultivation operation in his Denver apartment.  His bedroom had a large climate-controlled tent, equipped with lights, fans, humidification and de-humidification devices, and other equipment to aid in the cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms.  Milner began to cultivate and distribute psilocybin mushrooms from his apartment in November of 2018.  He conducted sales under the name “Happy Fox Edibles.”  Milner promoted this name through the media and was the subject of several news articles and videos related to his cultivation and sale of psilocybin mushrooms.

The defendant’s arrest and plea all happened well after Denver decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms. The facts make clear not only that decriminalization is not binding at all on federal authorities, but also that sales of psilocybin are not protected.

Now, let’s turn to Oakland, the second city to decriminalize psychedelics. In late 2020, Oakland law enforcement apparently raided the Zide Door Church of Entheogentic Plants. Apparently, Oakland law enforcement noted that in contrast to other local psychedelic organizations, Oakland believed Zide Door was operating as a for-profit business. This was apparently the motivating factor in the raid, and it’s unclear whether any of the allegedly nonprofit organizations have been raided. We want to be clear that these are only allegations at this point and the burden will be on law enforcement to prove its case going forward.

Raids and arrests like this will just be the tip of the iceberg. Many organizations will ultimately interpret decriminalization efforts at carte blanche to engage in commercial activities, and some of them are likely to face the ire of law enforcement. Unless and until states or the federal government actually legalize and regulate psychedelics, organizations operating in the space will face immense risks. Stay tuned to Canna Law Blog for more developments on the psychedelics front.

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FREE Webinar – Cannabis in the U.S. and E.U.

REGISTER HERE TODAY!

Join Harris Bricken, in partnership with German-based law firm KFN+ and Swiss-based law firm Froriep for a FREE webinar on Thursday, December 17th, at 8:30am PT/ 5:30pm CET to learn about cannabis and hemp CBD abroad.

Our international cannabis and hemp CBD attorneys, Griffen Thorne and Nathalie Bougenies, are partnering with Kai-Friedrich Niermann (KFN+) and Daniel Haymann (Froriep). During this FREE hour-long webinar, the panel will answer your questions and cover the status of cannabis and hemp CBD regulation in the European Union and Switzerland, U.S. import, sale, and marketing issues, and foreign direct investment, among many other topics.

The panelists will spend the last 15 minutes answering attendee questions. Make sure you submit any questions you may have regarding cannabis and/or hemp CBD in the U.S. or E.U. when you register!

Register today!

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New York marijuana legalization support is higher now than ever before, poll finds

New York voters support legalizing marijuana by a nearly two-to-one ratio, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.

The Siena College survey found that 60% of registered voters in the state back legalizing cannabis, compared to 32% who oppose the reform. That’s up significantly from February, when a poll showed support for ending marijuana prohibition ahead by a margin of 55% to 40%.

The new finding is “the strongest support legalization has ever had in a Siena College poll,” the school said in a press release.

Nearly every demographic across age, party, regional and racial lines has majority or plurality support for legalizing cannabis.

As has historically been the case, those who identify as Democrats were more likely to back the policy change (63%) compared to Republicans (48%). Sixty-eight percent of independents said they favor legalization.

The only demographic surveyed where opposition exceeded support was for ideologically conservative respondents, who are against legalization, 44% to 50%.

A separate survey released last month by Spectrum News and Ipsos similarly found that 61% of New Yorkers back the reform, compared to 30% who oppose it.

Legalization could become more than an idea in the Empire State next year, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and top lawmakers have indicated that the reform will be prioritized.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said on Monday that “it’s not so much a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and it’s a matter of how” the state legalizes cannabis for adult use.

While there are still outstanding provisions that need to be negotiated—principally concerning how tax revenue is allocated—the senator made clear that the legislature is positioned to advance the issue, especially since New Jersey voters approved a legalization referendum this month.

Cuomo said earlier this month that the “pressure will be on” to legalize marijuana in the state and lawmakers will approve it “this year” to offset economic losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor has included cannabis legalization in his last two annual budget proposals, but negotiations have consistently stalled over the details. A top aide said last month that the administration plans to give it another try in 2021 and the governor confirmed in a separate recent interview that he felt the reform would be accomplished “soon.”

Election Day also gave the Senate a supermajority of Democrats, meaning they will have more leverage to pass a legalization bill as they see fit because lawmakers could potentially override a veto if Cuomo takes issue with the details of the proposal.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps


This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Canadian Cannabis Sales Increase 108% in September to C$256 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Virginia Will Be A Leader On Marijuana Legalization In The South Governor Says (Marijuana Moment)

// Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr: Boxers will take drug tests but not for Iron Mike’s favourite marijuana (Give Me Sport)


These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!


// Number Of Banks Working With Marijuana Industry Continues To Drop Amid COVID Federal Report Shows (Marijuana Moment)

// Cannabis MSO Jushi plans $50 million expansion in Pennsylvania (Marijuana Business Daily)

// South Dakota’s recreational marijuana law to be challenged in court (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Longtime California cannabis czar Lori Ajax is stepping down (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canadian Officials Respond To Psychedelics Decriminalization Petition Saying No Legal Changes Needed (Marijuana Moment)

// Report: Canadian cannabis firms received millions in pandemic subsidies (Marijuana Business Daily)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Don Goofy/Flickr

FREE Webinar – Cannabis in the U.S. and E.U.

REGISTER HERE!

Join Harris Bricken, in partnership with German-based law firm KFN+ and Swiss-based law firm Froriep for a FREE webinar on Thursday, December 17th, at 8:30am PT/ 5:30pm CET to learn about cannabis and hemp CBD abroad.

Harris Bricken’s international cannabis and hemp CBD attorneys, Griffen Thorne and Nathalie Bougenies, are partnering with Kai-Friedrich Niermann (KFN+) and Daniel Haymann (Froriep). During this FREE hour-long webinar, the panel will answer your questions and cover the status of cannabis and hemp CBD regulation in the European Union and Switzerland, U.S. import, sale, and marketing issues, and foreign direct investment, among many other topics.

The panelists will spend the final 15 minutes answering attendee questions. Make sure you submit any questions you may have regarding cannabis and/or hemp CBD in the U.S. or E.U. when you register!

Register HERE today!

 

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Lawsuit Challenging California Cannabis Deliveries Dismissed, But Status Quo Remains

On November 17, 2020, the Fresno County Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by 24 California cities seeking to invalidate state cannabis regulations that allow delivery of cannabis to customers in jurisdictions that have banned retail commercial cannabis activity. Many industry players and media are touting the dismissal as a “win” for California cannabis companies. We have a different take. That’s because after the dismissal, cities and counties are still allowed to ban delivery. It’s just that the state Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will not be compelled to enforce those prohibitionist local ordinances.

As we explained last year, the plaintiffs in the action sought to invalidate and permanently enjoin enforcement of Title 16, section 5416(d) of the California Code of Regulations. According to plaintiffs, Regulation 5416(d) permits the delivery of commercial cannabis to a physical address anywhere in the state, which conflicts with the plain language of Business and Professions Code sections 26090 and 26200. Business and Professions Code section 26090(e) allows deliveries of cannabis, but only if such operations comply with local law. Section 26200(a) allows a local jurisdiction to regulate or completely prohibit the operation of commercial cannabis businesses within its boundaries. Plaintiffs contend that “Regulation 5416(d) is in direct conflict with the plain language of Business and Professions Code sections 26090 and 26200, which guarantee the right of local jurisdictions to regulate or prohibit commercial cannabis operations within their boundaries.”

However, the BCC contended that the issues were not ripe for adjudication, because “Regulation 5416(d) does not directly contradict or preempt plaintiffs’ local ordinances because the regulations does not command local jurisdictions to do anything, and does not prohibit them from doing anything.” The court agreed with the BCC, and stated that, “[s]pecifically, [Regulation 5416(d)] does not command local jurisdictions, including plaintiffs, to permit delivery. Nor does it override their local ordinances prohibiting or regulating delivery.” The BCC pointed out that the delivery regulation applies to state licensees, not local jurisdictions. Therefore, the regulation and plaintiffs’ local ordinances do not occupy the same field and are not in conflict.

While many are framing this as a win for the industry, the decision does nothing more than preserve the status quo. The court pointed out in its decision that “[l]ocal jurisdictions can impose regulatory and health and safety standards that are stricter than state laws. The standards established by the BCC are the minimum standards for licensees statewide, and ‘local jurisdiction[s] may establish additional standards, requirements, and regulations.’ (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 26201). The BCC is not required to enforce plaintiffs’ local ordinances.”

What this decision reinforces is that in fact, local jurisdictions can enact more restrictive regulations that prohibit delivery within their jurisdictional boundaries because state law does not preempt those regulations. Many jurisdictions, including here in the City of San Francisco, have already enacted such prohibitions on deliveries by entities not licensed in that jurisdiction. The issue has been with the ability of local jurisdictions to effectively enforce these restrictions, rather than the validity of the restrictions themselves.

This decision makes it clear that cities and counties can prohibit delivery within their jurisdictional boundaries, but the BCC will not be involved in enforcing those prohibitions, and the task of enforcement will be left up to local jurisdictions.

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