A coalition of advocacy groups and marijuana businesses have unveiled a unique plan to legalize interstate cannabis commerce regardless of ongoing federal prohibition.
The Alliance for Sensible Markets campaign will be pushing governors from legal and likely soon-to-be legal marijuana states to enter into an interstate compact—a constitutionally recognized agreement between two or more states—establishing a framework for cannabis to be transported and marketed across state lines.
Such an arrangement hasn’t been tried before for marijuana, but if the new effort succeeds in getting at least two states to sign on, the compact would then be transmitted to Congress, where lawmakers would have the choice to codify the agreement. It could be passed as standalone legislation or attached as an amendment or rider to a broader bill.
#StatesCantWait Commerce in cannabis between consenting legal markets in 2021 will bring investment, expansion, business formation, and tens of thousands of JOBS in the midst of an historic recession. Visit https://t.co/cgru4aWwQr to endorse the campaign.
— @StatesCantWait (@statescantwait) September 17, 2020
Perhaps the best example of an interstate compact is the Port Authority, which was created in 1921 to regulate regional transportation and infrastructure in New York and New Jersey. Those two states are actually being targeted by the Alliance for Sensible Markets, despite not having legalization on the books just yet. California and Oregon are the two other states the campaign hopes to bring on board.
Part of the logic in choosing these states is that California and Oregon are considered producer states with high volumes of marijuana whereas New York and New Jersey are more traditionally consumer states, where the climate is less friendly to large-scale, outdoor cultivation.
By opening a market that would allow for interstate commerce, it would “immediately increase valuations significantly for thousands of farms and