The State Cannabis Commerce Act Would Create An Import-Export Market From Sea To Shining Sea

A crop of cannabis plants grow under artificial lights at a facility in Oregon. A young man in red hair and sunglasses is reaching forward to check on them. GETTY

By Ben Curren

For a sign that the cannabis sector is maturing, look no further than the recent introduction of the State Cannabis Commerce Act by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden. In addition to containing language to protect state cannabis programs from federal interference, the bill would create a legal structure to allow interstate commerce between states where cannabis has been legalized.

The legislation is significant because it is one of the first serious public policy efforts at the national level to grapple with the challenges of supply and demand in cannabis – hurdles that will multiply as new state markets continue to open around the country.

By way of background, Governor Kate Brown in June signed legislation to allow Oregon to enter into agreements with other legal cannabis states, opening up channels to move products between them. We can anticipate other states following suit, if they have not yet already. Of course, while those agreements may be negotiated and created at the state level, they are irrelevant unless cross-border transport of cannabis is no longer prohibited federally. The State Cannabis Act would lift this existing ban.

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