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Scutari Introduces Interstate Cannabis Commerce Bill

NJ Senate President Nick Scutari (D-Union) introduced a bill that would allow interstate cannabis commerce.

However, the United States Congress would still need to pass a law that the President would have to sign allowing interstate commerce.

Since Joe Biden favored the War on Drugs and has done little contrary to that position, interstate cannabis commerce is not likely on the horizon.

Like Scutari’s magic mushrooms legalization bill, it is a more aspirational bill versus a desperately needed or a more practical matter that could become law quickly.

Under the bill, the states would have to agree upon several industry standards. The bill would mandate the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) handle the nuances of interstate cannabis commerce. They would need to work with other states on setting up common standards. In addition, the NJCRC would need to submit reports on their progress.  

Scutari’s interstate cannabis commerce bill does not currently have a sponsored companion in the Assembly. Nor are there other State Senate sponsors.

The more sponsors a bill has, the more likely it is to become law.

Interstate Cannabis Commerce

Interstate commerce would greatly change the cannabis landscape. New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis regulations were designed to protect small businesses and help minorities, women, and other prioritized groups secure an adult-use cannabis license. Thus, it would be interesting to see how this nascent class of adult-use companies would fare.

Oregon had a glut of cannabis on the market, which caused the price per pound to bottom out, which might have been great for consumers but is said to have hurt many small businesspeople. Thus, their legislature passed a bill that Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law promoting interstate cannabis commerce in June. Like Scutari’s bill, it is contingent on federal permission.

In addition, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been vocal about the need for interstate commerce. Along with New Jersey’s Democratic Senator Cory Booker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, he is one of the Senate champions for legalization. They finally formally introduced their legalization bill last month after promising it for months.

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