Small cannabis producers may be able to ship and sell products within and across state lines under a new congressional bill introduced by Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02).

The measure, known as the Small and Homestead Independent Producers (SHIP) Act, is targeted to support small cannabis cultivators and manufacturers by allowing them to ship products directly to consumers and “provide them the certainty to sustain their businesses under a larger federal legalization law,” according to a release.

“Too often, the federal government falls behind, and the gears of Congress work too slowly to keep up with the pace of a changing economy,” Huffman said. “Under my bill, folks in our state will be able to ship their products straight to consumers when the antiquated federal prohibition on cannabis is finally repealed. As large, commercial cannabis operations squeeze out local producers from the market, this legislation is critical for farmers to survive and expand their small businesses. We cannot leave our smallest family farmers behind under full legalization.”

According to the bill text, a “small cultivator of marijuana’’ is defined as someone who grows 22,000 square feet or less of cannabis in a greenhouse, one acre or less using outdoor cultivation, or 5,000 square feet or less using indoor cultivation. A “small manufacturer of a marijuana product’’ is an individual who produces manufactured cannabis products and earns less than $5 million of annual gross revenue.

The measure would take effect once cannabis is removed from the Control Substances Act and once prior cannabis convictions are expunged, according to the bill text.

Ross Gordon, policy director of Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) and policy chair of Origins Council, said direct-to-consumer shipping is an essential tool “that enables a diversified market to survive and thrive.” He added, “The SHIP Act moves the conversation beyond the question of who can get a license to cultivate cannabis and addresses the practical reality of building an equitable and accessible market for small cannabis producers.”

Karla Avila, owner and operator of Flowerdaze Farm in Trinity County and executive director of the Trinity County Agriculture Alliance (TCAA), also expressed her support for the measure.

“As a legacy cannabis producer and family farmer located in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, I see the direct-to-consumer retail pathway as the only future of my small farm, and indeed—of all rural communities like my own whose cultural heritage is rooted in craft cannabis cultivation and artisanal medicine making,” Avila said.

The legislation is endorsed by the Origins Council, HCGA, TCAA and several other organizations, and is cosponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), co-chair and founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.


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