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Washington State’s governor has signed legislation allowing interstate marijuana trade in anticipation of a change in federal law. Governor Jay Inslee recently signed the bill introduced by Senator Ann Rivers into law after it passed the legislature last month.
Prior to approving the legislation, Inslee pushed Congress to update the country’s cannabis laws, arguing that legalization at the federal level would support the competitiveness of the highly regulated marijuana market while also upholding health and public safety requirements.
Once a federal law is changed or a federal Justice Department decision authorizing cannabis trading across state lines is passed, the legislation will permit the state to engage in interstate cannabis trade.
Now that this bill has been approved, all three states on the western coastline are ready to allow cannabis export and import. Oregon passed its bill in 2019 while California followed suit last year.
The Washington legislation stipulates that if one of the two federal conditions is satisfied, state authorities must provide written notice of the policy change and any state-level statutory amendments necessary to allow the delivery, sale and reception of marijuana from businesses out of the state. However, under California law, implementation could also begin without taking into account any conditions at the federal level.
Regulators in Washington will also be required to develop rules that will guide marijuana exports and imports. However, the governor will have sole authority to sign agreements with other states. Goods imported from out-of-state businesses would have to abide by Washington regulations, including labeling and packaging guidelines.
Meanwhile, a legislator from Maine has introduced a bill to permit marijuana exports and imports between states where it is legal. A comparable interstate plan was submitted by New Jersey’s senate president last year, but it hasn’t yet been approved.
Additionally, last year, a federal court ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause made Maine’s law prohibiting nonresidents from running medicinal cannabis businesses in the state unlawful. Some commentators contend that the same logic used to support the residency restrictions also applies to state-level restrictions on marijuana import and export, rendering them invalid. There is also a belief that prohibiting medicinal cannabis imports and exports in states that have legalized it would be seen as both unconstitutional and protectionist.
A marijuana company from Oregon sued in a national court in November, claiming that the state’s current prohibition on interstate marijuana imports and exports is unconstitutional.
If cannabis interstate commerce becomes a reality around the country, states with favorable cultivation conditions could have a competitive edge and perhaps opt to use equipment such the microgardens sold by Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) to produce more cost effectively and sell to states where climate and other conditions make it harder for marijuana to be grown.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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