Let’s talk about intestate commerce for a second. We have previously opined that federal legalization will NOT be the way that interstate commerce commences. Rather, there will be some form of agreements between states that allows state-legal commerce to occur despite federal prohibition.
So, we read with some interest that a bill has been introduced in California that would give the state the authority to enter into agreements with other legalized states for cannabis commerce. The is proposal is notably different from a similar law in Oregon in that it does not require any kind of federal permission or indication of tolerance (remember the Cole Memo?). This suggests that some CA lawmakers think that sufficient controls can be put in place to engage in interstate trade without provoking federal law enforcement.
Does this mean that Massachusetts will soon see an infusion of Humboldt flower? Nope, not yet. The proposed law requires that any transportation of cannabis between states be by motor vehicle and that it only pass through states that authorize the transport. I’m doubtful that we can establish a cross-country route just yet.
However, this begins to draw the outline of what regional state compacts might look like in the near future (ahem, NY, NJ, CT, MA, VT, ME…).