Federal bill looks to level the cannabis playing field

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The bill would give small farms more ammunition to compete against MSOs

Competing against the large multi-state marijuana operators (MSOs) is something that small growers in the industry have to deal with on a daily basis. However, the scales could be balanced thanks to a bill introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Huffman. The only condition for the playing field to be leveled is that marijuana be legalized at the federal level.

With the measure called the “Small and Homestead Independent Producers (SHIP) Act,” both congressmen intend to give growers the ability to sell and ship products directly to consumers both inside and outside state lines. As time goes on, Congress continues to make various efforts to implement cannabis reform. Should that legalization come to pass, ideally, markets will be available to all who want to build their own marijuana businesses.

About two months ago, the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA) was unveiled, a long-awaited piece of legislation from the US Senate that seeks to decriminalize and declassify marijuana at the federal level, while promoting social equity. This bill is being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Ron Wyden and Cory Booker.

It makes it difficult for smaller businesses to compete against large MSO operations, which have much greater infrastructure and resources. The SHIP Act seeks to bring competition to a more level playing field in the event that federal law is reformed. That is why one of the main objectives of the legislation is to give small growers a stronger foothold in the market, something that MSOs clearly enjoy.

“It is a daunting business environment that they’re facing. Markets are consolidating,” Rep. Huffman told Marijuana Moment ahead of the bill’s introduction. “The huge multinational corporations are certainly going to do very well, but we want to make sure that the smaller operations have a chance to compete and succeed.”