The federal government may not approve, but states want to sell cannabis to other states
Interstate marijuana commerce could now be part of the plans for the growing industry in New Jersey. A new bill introduced by Senate President Nicholas Scutari would give the state’s governor the authority to enter into interstate cannabis trade agreements with other states where consumption of the plant is also permitted. However, it is important to note that the agreements could be forged if the Department of Justice (DOJ) issues guidance that would allow the activity or federal law is changed.
The northwest region of the country is becoming increasingly crowded with state markets that have given the go-ahead for recreational marijuana. As such, the legislation is thought to come at an appropriate time by proposing to create a policy infrastructure for interstate cannabis commerce. If passed, it could significantly expand the currently fragmented industry and help resolve potential supply and demand issues.
The Senate president, who championed the state’s legalization bill, is currently sponsoring the measure. This, in simple terms, means that this is a serious legislative effort and that more concrete updates on the proposal may soon be forthcoming. Federal policy conditions make the timeline for the implementation of this proposal somewhat uncertain.
Enactment would make the legislation effective immediately. However, the governor could initiate these interstate agreements if the DOJ or Congress issues an order approving such activity. In addition, there are various regulatory requirements that must be agreed to by each of the participating states.