interstate cannabis commerce

California AG Rules Out Interstate Cannabis Commerce

California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta recently expressed concerns over the federal risks associated with opening interstate cannabis commerce for the state’s industry.

Full story after the jump.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said on Tuesday that opening up interstate cannabis commerce for the state’s cannabis industry would carry too much risk of federal enforcement.

Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) last year signed into law a proposal giving licensed cannabis companies the right to export their products into other state-legal markets. However, the law would only apply if there was some assurance that there would be no legal interference from the federal government, which still prohibits cannabis as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

California cannabis regulators asked the Attorney General’s office to consider the issue nearly one year ago and their response is finally ready, confirming that:

“Yes. State-law authorization for commercial cannabis activity between out-of-state licensees and California licensees could ‘result in significant legal risk to the State of California under the federal Controlled Substances Act.'” – Attorney General Rob Bonta, in an opinion statement

In his statement, Bonta highlights the “risks of federal preemption of state law and criminal prosecution of state employees,” and says that the law remains “unsettled as to whether state officials could be federally prosecuted for implementing state law in this area.”

California’s northern neighbor Oregon passed its own interstate cannabis commerce law in 2019 but the program requires approval from the federal government before cross-state sales can begin. Meanwhile, Maine lawmakers considered a similar proposal earlier this year but the bill was ultimately shot down in committee, Marijuana Moment reported.

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