How would interstate cannabis commerce impact California’s cannabis industry?

State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) believes the ability to import and export California’s state-legal cannabis products to other states would benefit California’s economy and give the state a competitive edge.

Caballero introduced Senate Bill 1326 Feb. 18 to authorize cannabis imports and exports, as well as allow the governor to enter into trade agreements with other U.S. states.

“S.B. 1326 is an essential step to ensure that California can fully capitalize on, and remain a leader in, the national cannabis market,” Caballero said in a public statement. “California can and should lay the groundwork for a multi-state legal cannabis market which will benefit our rural economy and our workers. This strategy can be replicated on a national scale and it’s my hope that S.B. 1326 will give California a competitive advantage.”

The legislation requires trade agreements between California and other states to include public health, safety and labeling standards; a system to regulate and track cannabis products; and the collection of applicable taxes. It would also require any products imported from out of state to be tested, packaged and labeled in compliance with California law.

“California’s rural counties are home to some of the largest licensed cannabis production in both the state and nation, bringing significant economic benefits to the region,” Chris Lopez, a Monterey County supervisor and second vice chair of the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), said in a public statement. “However, our cannabis businesses are struggling to survive. Without considerable market expansion as part of the solution to stabilize the industry, we risk losing large portions of our existing cannabis businesses and disincentivizing the legal pathway into the regulated market. On behalf of RCRC, we thank Sen. Caballero for sponsoring S.B. 1326 to provide a pathway for a multi-state legal cannabis market which is vital for the long-term economic success of cannabis businesses in rural California.”

An April 4 hearing has been scheduled for S.B. 1326.