Washington State legislative committee approves interstate marijuana commerce bill

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The feds might not want cannabis moving across state lines, but states do

In hopes that federal policy will be changed, yesterday, a bill to configure the state to allow interstate commerce in marijuana was approved by a Washington state Senate committee. While there are no clear statements about what will happen at the federal level, state lawmakers are looking to move some important steps forward.

By voice vote, the measure received the green light from the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, clearing the way for the Senate Rules Committee to next weigh in on the proposal. The news comes a week after the reform was first discussed by the panel, as well as proposals related to social equity and marijuana-based labor protections.

A companion version of the interstate commerce bill was originally expected to be considered by the House Substances and Regulated Gaming Committee yesterday. However, the meeting was canceled, and the measure was not considered by the sponsor-led committee.

Senator Ann Rivers is leading the effort in the Senate. If passed, Washington’s governor would have the power to enter into agreements with other legal states to open the way for exports and imports between state-licensed marijuana businesses.

Senator Karen Keizer says the legislation appears to have broad support, so taking early action would be ideal at this time. For her part, there has been concurrence from Senator Rebecca Saldaña, saying that “it makes sense to have this bill, as it simply ensures that our state is ready in case there is any interstate commerce agreement.”