Hurry up and give us federally legal weed, because state-specific cannabis laws are about to get so complicated they’ll make cannabis professionals and regulators alike scratch their heads bald and bloody.
State laws on cannabis have historically been confusing. For example, what’s legal to sell in a smoke shop in one state can put you behind bars in another. And even though buying and selling some cannabis products might be legal in a state, it can still be illegal within an individual municipality, and is almost certainly illegal on the federal level.
But one new medical marijuana law and another proposed change in policy could make things even more complex by enabling cannabis to legally move across state lines. Because the federal government still classifies most cannabis and cannabis product as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, taking it from one state to another is almost always a big no-no on the federal level. But that isn’t stopping some regulators from considering proposoals which would allow or encourage cannabis exportation from one state to another.
Legal Trafficking In Oregon
Oversaturation in the Oregon market has caused cannabis prices to drop. In an effort to expand the consumer base of Oregonian cannabis, many are now suggesting that the state enter into legal agreements with other states which have legal marijuana markets.
A similar proposal was voted down in 2017, but now the trade group Craft Cannabis Alliance is working on a new one which aims to begin exportation by 2021. The original bill’s author state Senator Floyd Prozanski says he’s down for a new go at it with an eye towards what the federal government might allow.
“I’m very pleased to look at this,” Prozanski said. “But I guess what I want to make certain is we don’t push ourselves into a situation where the perfect becomes the obstacle of getting anything on the books for what will be more permissible under current interpretations by the feds.”
Arkansas Patients On Interstate Quest For MMJ
Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana program allows for visitors with MMJ recommendation cards from other states to purchase cannabis in Oklahoma dispensaries.
The law is probably meant to encourage to accomodate visitors, but it’s also being eyed by patients in states with wonky medical marijuana laws.
Oklahoma’s inclusive poplicy is looking especially good medical marijuana patients in the neighboring state of Arkansas. Though Arkansas legalized medical marijuana more than two years, the state has not yet opened a single dispensary.
While that ideally would mean that patients could hop over the state line to Oklahoma to get their medicine, unfortunately it’s not so simple. While Arkansas has issued letters of approval for MMJ patients, they haven’t actually given out recommendation cards, the required form of documentation which Oklahoma dispensaries need in order to legally dispense to out-of-staters.
Though this kind of interstate cannabis cooperation is going to make for some legally confusing situations, it’s also a sign of progress. While we’re still waiting for the federal government to get its act together on legal cannabis (or even, you know, function at all), it’s probably best that the states start working some things out between themselves.
Photo via Flickr user Jason Rosenberg