Last week, legal cannabis states were able to give a small sigh of relief when the task force the Justice Department put together gave AG Sessions little ammunition to go after their cannabis markets. He does have one bullet in his gun, and it is a big one: cannabis smuggling. If legal states don’t fix the issue of cannabis being smuggled into the non-legal states soon, Sessions will have reason enough to recommend federal enforcement.
In response to this, the legal states are revamping their tracking systems. For example, all cannabis grown for commercial use in Oregon, will now be tracked from the time it goes into the ground, to the time it gets labeled and put on the shelf. Oregon seems to have the biggest smuggling problem as it seems the state is producing way more than it’s smoking. According to the Associated Press, Oregon produces as many as 132-900 tons more than Oregonians are actually consuming. It’s estimated as five times as much. Of course, Oregon having a much more relaxed stance towards the plant, not to mention being covered in dense green forests, has always been a popular place to grow cannabis.
Washington is also beefing up their tracking system. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board claims that they are upgrading to a “highly secure, reliable, scalable and flexible system” as soon as the first of November. California will be using Franwell, the same tracking system that states like Colorado and Alaska use.
Tracking systems are vitally important for making sure that states are compliant with their laws, but one glaring issue is that they are only good when the users are honest. Michael Crabtree who runs Denver based tracking system Nationwide Compliance Specialists Inc., said “We have seen numerous accounts of people forgetting to tag plants.” Tracking systems are also only for commercial use; cannabis grown for private use is not tracked.
It’s a difficult problem, but if they don’t figure out a solution soon, the states could lose their legal markets. Personally, I think the best solution would be just to legalize cannabis through the country.
Source: Associated Press
Image Source: cannasos.com
What do you think? Will states be able to successfully crack down on cannabis smuggling? Share in the comments!