A Map of California’s ‘Pot Deserts’

To the outsiders, California may have a reputation as the land of milk and honey for marijuana users, but nothing could be further from the truth. As this new map from the Sacramento Bee shows, there are plenty of places where residents have to drive 60 miles or more to legally buy cannabis. In fact, that’s the case for about 40 percent of the state.

California’s patchwork of commercial pot regulations -- and a number of outright bans -- have left the state with plenty of “pot deserts.” The Bee found that 30 percent of the state is within 30 miles of a licensed pot dispensary; 29 percent is between 30 and 60 miles; and 38 percent is between 50 and 120 miles.

Legislation introduced by Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) could change that by allowing marijuana delivery services in areas that have banned commercial pot. SB 1302 is sure to face stiff opposition from local governments who were promised wide discretion over commercial marijuana activity in their areas when voters legalized marijuana in 2016.