A group representing cannabis businesses and activists is calling on the governors of four western states to explore receiving federal approval for interstate trade in cannabis, a move that could help set the stage for the eventual national legalization of cannabis.
In a letter posted online, the Alliance for Sensible Markets called on the governors of California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington to seek guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice on how the government would react if two or more states with legal medical or adult-use marijuana decided to regulate cannabis trade across their state lines. The letter notes that federal legalization of cannabis, which at this point seems inevitable, will present an economic opportunity to cannabis-producing states in the West.
“When the federal government legalizes cannabis, the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that producers across our four states will have non-discriminatory access to every legal adult-use and medical market in the country,” the letter reads. “That will be worth billions of dollars per year to our states’ economies, increasing state revenues and spurring investment, expansion, business formation, and jobs and could, if it happens soon, save thousands of small farms and businesses from extinction.”
The Alliance for Sensible Markets is a Portland, Oregon-based coalition of cannabis activists and producers including the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Washington Sun and Craft Growers Association, the Weed for Warriors Project, and the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturers Association. Formed last year, the organization has two primary goals to achieve interstate cannabis commerce.
First, the group is working to bring two or more states with legal marijuana together to join in an interstate compact outlining the parameters for legal cannabis commerce between them. Secondly, a path to federal approval of the plan would have to be drafted and set into motion.
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Published: November 29, 2021
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