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California One Step Closer To Interstate Cannabis Commerce

California could be one step closer to interstate marijuana commerce, potentially opening up new opportunities for businesses and consumers, according to documents obtained by Marijuana Moment through a Public Records Act request. There appears to be a consensus that allowing cross-border cannabis sales would not carry legal risk under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The Attorney General’s office has consulted with various organizations on the issue at the request of the state’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) back in January, which asked whether “state law authorization, under an agreement pursuant to Chapter 25 of Division 10 of the Business and Professional Code, for medicinal or adult-use commercial cannabis activity, or both, between out-of-state licensees and California licensees, will result in significant legal risk to the State of California under the federal Controlled Substances Act.” In numerous letters and emails, all parties agreed that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not pre-empt California’s repeal of its present ban on interstate cannabis sales.

State Attorney General’s Office Confirms Idea of Legal Safety for Cannabis Businesses

Documents obtained by Marijuana Moment show that the office consulted with various organizations on the issue back in January, which asked whether interstate cannabis commerce could result in significant legal risk to the State of California under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

All parties agreed that the CSA does not pre-empt California’s repeal of its present ban on interstate cannabis sales.

The California Cannabis Association (CCA), for example, asserted that it doesn’t believe in any risk of federal enforcement under the Controlled Substances Act.

“Because the express language of the CSA ‘preserves state laws except where there exists such a positive conflict that the two laws cannot consistently stand together, the implied conflict analysis of obstacle preemption appears beyond the intended scope of [the CSA],’” the letter says. “Without a foundation for the CSA to preempt California’s repeal of the present ban on the interstate sale of licensed commercial cannabis, the legal risk of the federal government suing the State under the CSA is effectively nullified.”

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) joined together in a letter to the Attorney General’s office acknowledging the potential for skepticism of interstate cannabis commerce but underlined their support nonetheless.

“How can a state permit interstate commerce that Congress itself has forbidden? Similar skepticism greeted California’s early efforts to authorize commercial cannabis activities in the first place. “However, in this case, as then, the skepticism evaporates upon closer examination.”

“In both legal analysis and the real world, this is not a ‘fairly large’ probability,” it continued. “Thus, state law authorization, under an agreement pursuant to this Senate Bill 1326, for commercial cannabis activity between foreign licensees and state licensees, will not result in ‘significant legal risk to the State of California under the federal Controlled Substances Act,’ and the Attorney General should therefore issue an opinion as requested by the Department.”

Department of Cannabis Control Response to Feedback

It appears that the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is content to have received a positive response from several cannabis agencies regarding whether interstate commerce of cannabis will result in legal issues for California under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Matthew Lee, general counsel to DCC, told Marijuana Moment, “We feel very confident that the longer and more carefully you look at this issue, the more likely you are to agree with the conclusion that we reached.” That is, interstate cannabis commerce carries no substantial federal legal risk for the state.

“They need to make sure that they’re being very, very careful looking at all the angles that are necessarily when dealing with novel, complex areas of law where the stakes can be quite high,”

The move towards interstate cannabis commerce could dramatically impact the West Coast. It could mean more economic and business opportunities for cannabis companies and provide a bigger market for consumers to access their desired products. With more competition in the marketplace, prices would lower, resulting in increased affordability of cannabis-related products for everyone.

It could also mean new business opportunities outside of the current cannabis industry. Companies that focus on logistics, such as trucking and fulfillment centers, could benefit from being able to move products across state lines. This could also bring more out-of-state capital and job creation for California’s economy.

The advancement of interstate cannabis commerce could also result in greater acceptance and the culture of cannabis as a medicine. With states such as California, Oregon, and Washington looking to lead the charge, this message is sure to spread across the nation and be an example for other states looking to legalize recreational or medicinal use. This could mean more access to medical marijuana for those who need it, increased acceptance of marijuana use in general, and a stronger understanding of how cannabis can help people.

Ultimately, the move towards interstate cannabis commerce is an exciting development that could bring many benefits to California and the West Coast. With more states joining in on this venture, we may soon see a bright future for legal cannabis nationwide.


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