Last week, the U.S. Court of International Trade rejected an attempt made by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block the import of cannabis trimming equipment into a state that has legalized marijuana. The federal court made a similar ruling last month in a different case where it upheld the right to import trimming technology from a company to a business in Washington, DC, after customs impeded the transfer. This ruling set a new precedent that will allow the company in question, Keirton, to bring in equipment to use in separating leaves from cannabis plants.
The CBP falls under the Department of Homeland Security. However, during the case last month, the Department of Justice represented the federal agency. During the proceedings, the Justice Department argued that preventing the equipment’s entry was permitted because the company intended to sell products used to manufacture marijuana, which is still classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
The courts stated that this argument didn’t hold up under the review of relevant statutes, which established a drug paraphernalia exception for imports to states that had permitted the activity, regardless of the current federal statute. The defendants stated that the Controlled Substances Act’s purpose was to establish uniform federal prohibition; they argued that permitting the exemption to extend to Washington State’s repeal would hinder the uniformity intended by Congress.
To this, the court stated that Congress didn’t impose total uniformity because it provided an exemption. It continued that if Congress had wanted to limit the exemption, it could have done so.
Drug paraphernalia, under federal law, is defined as any product, equipment or material that is primarily designed or intended for use in manufacturing, compounding, concealing, converting, processing, producing, preparing, inhaling, ingesting, injecting or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the body. The law’s exception to the import and export ban applies to any person “authorized by local, state or federal law to manufacture, distribute or possess such items.”
While cases concerning paraphernalia importation into the country continue, the conversation on cross-border marijuana commerce continues to grow. In New Jersey, Senate President Nicholas Scutari filed a measure that would allow the governor to enter into agreements with other legal states to import and export marijuana.
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed a proposal that would permit such commerce to begin after the federal government enacted a policy change to protect the commerce activity. Such a law, when enacted, would create avenues through which California-based businesses such as Prime Harvest Inc. would trade with similar businesses in other states that have established legal marijuana markets.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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