Washington State Lawmakers Approve Interstate Marijuana Commerce Bill In Committee

Washington State Lawmakers Approve Interstate Marijuana Commerce Bill In Committee
MJ moment

A Washington State Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill to set the state up to allow interstate marijuana commerce, pending a federal policy change. The Senate Labor & Commerce Committee passed the legislation on a voice vote. It now moves to the Senate Rules Committee. This comes one week after the panel first met to discuss the reform, in addition to proposals concerning cannabis-related employment protections and social equity. The House Regulated Substances & Gaming Committee is also scheduled to tackle a companion version of the interstate commerce bill, sponsored by that panel’s chair, later on Tuesday afternoon. In the Senate, the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R). It would give the governor of Washington authority to enter into agreements with other legal states to permit imports and exports between state-licensed cannabis businesses. The committee chair, Sen. Karen Keiser (D), said that it was important to take “early action” on the legislation, especially given that it “seems to have pretty substantial support.” Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D) agreed that it “makes good sense to have this bill, as it just makes sure that our state is ready in case there is any interstate commerce agreements.” But she said she would be voting without a recommendation at this stage because “we need to make sure that we actually address social equity” in the industry first. She is sponsoring cannabis equity legislation that also recently received a hearing, but has not yet been scheduled for a vote. Keiser replied that she believes the interstate commerce bill and other marijuana reforms would be held in the Rules Committee until the legislature has a chance to advance equity legislation as well. Under the interstate commerce proposal, products that come from out-of-state businesses would be required to comply with Washington regulations, including…

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