CannaBeat is a curated biweekly selection of top news stories impacting business, research, and culture in the cannabis industry, crafted by Emerge Law Group.
Emerge’s Hot Take
It’s been almost 30 years since California legalized medical cannabis, and since then 40 states and the District of Columbia have some form of cannabis legalization (medical, recreational, or both). The Federal government continues to slowly work its way through which approach to take – full decriminalization versus legalization; and then in the meantime work on social equity and providing banking access. Certain states are making moves to prepare for the next step of the industry – interstate commerce. Each of the three West Coast states – California, Oregon, and Washington – have enacted legislation to allow for interstate commerce contingent on the U.S. government legalizing cannabis or allowing for such transactions without federal interference.
The restriction on the cannabis market to stay within state lines has been especially hard on the west coast states that are known for their cannabis and cannabis products. General Counsel for the Department of Cannabis Control in California said “that restricting marijuana markets within state lines is economically unattainable.” He further describes how the situation is analogous to other industries,
“If the Michigan auto industry could only sell cars to people in Michigan, or Florida orange growers could only sell oranges to people in Florida or if the California wine industry could only sell wine to California, I’m not sure that each of those would be a viable legal industry.”
It’s likely that the aforementioned products would not be known as absolute staples in their specific industry if restricted in such a way that most consumers didn’t have access to the specific products from that region. It could be argued that the Emerald Triangle is known as a place for top shelf artisanal cannabis because prior to legalization the product was able to reach a broader consumer market. The Federal government is dragging their feet on this issue but States are not waiting, and rather working to bring the industry in to the next phase, the next era of the legal cannabis market.
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