State and federal law enforcement agents conducted a massive raid on an illicit cannabis operation last week in Washington state. Working together, the United States Postal Inspection Service, other federal agencies, and the King County Sherriff raided 27 homes in Skyway, Renton, Kent, Maple Valley, SeaTac, and other Puget Sound communities, according to KIRO 7 News.
Agents found and removed processed cannabis, thousands of plants, and related documents from the homes. According to agents, the group’s illicit cannabis products were being mailed to nine states around the country including Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, and Missouri. Of those states, adult-use cannabis has only been legalized in Illinois and Massachusetts.
“This is a particularly egregious ring. You’re talking about over the course of this investigation there are probably tens of millions of dollars of product that have been shipped to multiple states nationally.” — Tony Galetti, Inspector in Charge with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, via KIRO 7 News
Due to its designation as a Schedule I narcotic, cannabis remains federally illegal and cannot be shipped across state lines, even between states where adult-use cannabis has been legalized.
In 2019, Oregon passed legislation to allow for interstate cannabis commerce between states. The bill, which was approved last June, would allow Oregon-grown cannabis products to be shipped to neighboring states that have also legalized cannabis — Washington, California, and Nevada. Oregon-legal cannabis would not be allowed to cross into (nor fly over) states that have not legalized cannabis. The law, however, also requires the federal government to approve such transactions and there is currently no precedent or plan for doing so.