Rural Counties Could Benefit If California Legalizes Interstate Cannabis Commerce

Cultivation, manufacturing and in-state sales of marijuana have been legal for years now. But under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), the transport or distribution of cannabis products outside state lines is still prohibited. A bill introduced by State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) seeks to change that. Caballero’s Senate Bill 1326 would authorize cannabis imports and exports and allow the governor to enter into agreements with other states for interstate cannabis commerce.

The legislation is backed by Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC).

“California’s rural counties are home to some of the largest licensed cannabis production in both the state and nation, bringing significant economic benefits to the region,” said Monterey County Supervisor and RCRC Second Vice Chair Chris Lopez. “However, our cannabis businesses are struggling to survive. Without considerable market expansion as part of the solution to stabilize the industry, we risk losing large portions of our existing cannabis businesses and disincentivizing the legal pathway into the regulated market. On behalf of RCRC, we thank Sen. Caballero for sponsoring S.B. 1326 to provide a pathway for a multi-state legal cannabis market which is vital for the long-term economic success of cannabis businesses in rural California.”

Under Senate Bill 1326, commerce would be limited to operators with state licenses. States would have to agree to certain product safety, labeling, and testing requirements. The agreements would also include provisions for collection of taxes.

California is currently grappling with an oversupply of cannabis. Exporting cannabis products would be highly beneficial to the state’s marijuana industry and the rural counties where much of the state’s cannabis is grown. However, there are numerous legal questions and potential pitfalls. Read more about those at Lexology.