Cannabis advocates and businesses have launched the Alliance for Sensible Markets with their sights set on cannabis interstate commerce among legalized states. The organization says cannabis commerce between consenting markets “will bring investment, expansion, business formation, and tens of thousands of jobs in the midst of an historic recession.”
According to the group’s website, interstate cannabis commerce would be achieved in two steps: getting the governors “of at least two legal or legalizing states” to agree to an interstate compact for cannabis products, and forwarding the compacts to Congress for approval.
Moreover, it’s unclear how suppliers would be able to move cannabis through states that still prohibit cannabis use or sales by adults. All too frequently hemp shipments are seized in states that do not allow for its production and transporting cannabis across state lines – regardless of legality – remains violation of federal law. Last year, Democratic lawmakers from Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, introduced legislation to allow interstate cannabis commerce between legalized states but that bill has stalled in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
About 50 organizations and businesses are listed as campaign partners on the organization’s website, including the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), New York City Cannabis Industry Association, Humboldt County Growers Alliance, Soma County Growers Alliance, Craft Cannabis Alliance, and Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce.
Adam Smith, founder and president of the Alliance for Sensible Markets, told Marijuana Moment that such a policy change would lead to “valuations for thousands of farms and businesses increased by multiples, which will spur an immediate wave of investment expansion and job creation.”
“On the east coast in the consumer states, legalizing cannabis with interstate commerce, will mean that they can get industries up and running and stable in six-to-18 months, rather than three years or five years or seven years, spurring an immediate wave of investment, business formation and tens of thousands of jobs just when the states need them. We are looking to partner with the governors and be their partners in economic recovery.” – Smith to Marijuana Moment
Along with Smith, the organization’s board of directors include Dr. Rachel Knox, president of Cannabis Health Equity Movement; Bill Kelly, general partner at cannabis industry investment fund AgriCascadia; Shanita Penny, CEO Budding Solutions and a past president of the MCBA; Genine Coleman, founder and executive director of the Origins Council, a California-based nonprofit education, research, and cannabis policy advocacy organization; Jesse Peters, CEO of Mantis Growth Investments.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article contained a typo suggesting it was illegal to transport hemp products across state lines. Interstate hemp commerce, however, was made legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.