Marijuana laws are constantly changing; just when you think you’re in the safe zone, another bill or regulation change rolls out, and you’re left scrambling to find a solution. Countless cannabis workers have experienced this first hand; however, the most recent bill that’s likely to pass might bring some positivity to the U.S. cannabis space.
It all starts in California. A recent measure, Bill 1326, was introduced last week, and if passed, it would permit interstate commercial cannabis activity through import and export. And this goes for all states with cannabis legalized in any form; a state with a medical program could import cannabis from California, a recreational state.
The new bill was likely created to help California’s oversaturated market and relieve the massive oversupply that’s waiting to be used. There’s currently some talk of federal reforms taking place in the coming years, so maybe the California bill was introduced to help position themselves to be ready for business when federal reform takes place.
Photo by L.A. County Sheriff’s Department
Although the bill is great news for California and other weed-friendly states, there’s the worry that it might overstep the “opt-out clause,” which gives municipalities the right to choose if they want any dispensaries or cannabis stores in their jurisdiction. However, the new bill might offer even more protections for these towns.
According to L.A. Weekly, the bill’s text reads that someone or an “entity” with a commercial cannabis license under another state cannot conduct commercial cannabis activity within California “without a state license, or within a local jurisdiction without a license, permit, or other authorization issued by the local jurisdiction.”
In layman’s terms, big industry players and huge cannabis corporations still cannot operate in a local jurisdiction where it’s prohibited by local government and the people. The bill also provides a few minor modifications to public health and tax regulations, but not much is changing in that area.
Photo by Marnie Birger
Lindsay Robinson, Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), told L.A. Weekly that the association had been thinking about the idea of interstate commercial activity for quite a while. She explained that the CCIA has been “talking with various stakeholders and trade associations” about it, but it’s something that must be looked at with caution.
Robinson added that “We need to make sure that California cannabis is stabilized and that the businesses here are functioning well, and hopefully thriving” well before the CCIA, and the state government would even consider entering multistate commerce.