A court judge has set a precedent that could open an international market for cannabis products
The market leader in post-harvest cannabis automation equipment, Eteros Technologies USA, recently announced that it was victorious in its court case regarding the exemption from 21 USC Section 863(f)(1) of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Neither a state nor the federal court had ever had to decide such a case before. It certainly marks a significant precedent for the cannabis industry and its international paraphernalia trade.
The resolution of this case in favor of Eteros recognizes that states’ authorization of persons to distribute, manufacture, or possess marijuana paraphernalia triggers the “exemption from authorization.” As a result, the importation of such items into the US is permitted. Now, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been instructed to green-light the importation of cannabis paraphernalia into states where the distribution, manufacture and possession of such items are legal.
With capital expenditures by multi-state operators accounting for up to 30% of revenue and the marijuana industry reaching a value of nearly $40 billion by 2023, this choice could generate billions of dollars in marijuana equipment imports year after year. Eteros was born in 2016 from a group of engineers who shared a passion for innovation to manufacture equipment for Canada’s newly legalized cannabis market.
Founder Aaron McKellar said the company expanded sales from Canada to the US in 2019. This served as a boost to help farmers grow federally legal hemp and the growing state-legal cannabis market. In April last year, the firm attempted to import sub-assembly elements used to manufacture the Mobius M108S cannabis trimmer at the Port of Blaine, Washington.
However, that action was halted after inspection by CBP, which deemed the components to be prohibited “drug paraphernalia,” citing the federal CSA. After hiring an attorney to challenge that determination, the company ultimately won the dispute more than a year later.