SACRAMENTO – Escalating a legal battle with California cities and counties over where marijuana can be sold, state officials are intervening in a new court fight over home delivery of cannabis in communities that have banned or restricted pot shops.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion on behalf of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to join a lawsuit by Salinas-based East of Eden Cannabis Co. against Santa Cruz County, which has banned deliveries by companies it has not licensed.

The legal action comes as a group of cities is challenging California’s home delivery rules in Fresno County Superior Court, arguing that state law allows them to decide whether businesses can sell pot in their communities. In January, the Bureau of Cannabis Control issued regulations that permit firms it licenses to deliver marijuana to homes anywhere in the state, including in cities and counties that have banned pot shops.

Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin said that under Proposition 64, which voters approved in 2016 to legalize marijuana for recreational use, “the state promised the people of California local control over the time, place and manner of local cannabis operations.”

“The state is now lending the power of the attorney’s general office to a business seeking to break that promise,” Hoppin said. 

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