Robert Mikos, Steve Hoffman, Curt Dalton, David Rabinovitz
Robert Mikos, Steve Hoffman, Curt Dalton, David Rabinovitz

It Is Probably Legal to Ship Marijuana Across State Lines - Professor Mikos Talks the Dormant Commerce Clause

Vanderbilt Law Professor Robert Mikos set the cannabis world on fire with his new legal research

Posted by:
Thom Baccus on Saturday Oct 30, 2021

It Is Probably Legal to Ship Marijuana Across State Lines - Professor Robert Mikos of Vanderbilt Law School Explains His Review of the Dormant Commerce Clause of the US Constitution on the Green Rush Live!

Professor Robert Mikos dormant commerce clause for marijuana shipping


Professor Mikos has set the marijuana industry ablaze with his legal paper on the Dormant Commerce Clause in the US Constitution.

The cannabis industry was set ablaze by Professor Mikos' paper about how shipping marijuana across state lines may actually be Federally legal right now due to the Dormant Commerce clause in the US Constitution. (Here is the published paper)  On our Green Rush LIVE show we sat down and discussed the legal argument presented in his paper with Professor Mikos.  We also had a an all-start cast of lawyers and state regulators joining us, including:

Steve Hoffman - Head of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

Beau Whitney - cannabis economist and business consultant

David C. Holland - New York cannabis attorney and advocate

Adam Smith - Founder of Alliance for Sensible Markets

Edward DeSousa - Managing Partner River Run Gardens

Andrew Kline - Senior Partner Perkins Cole

Professor Robert Mikos - Vanderbilt Law

David Rabinovitz - Green Rush Live

Curt Dalton - Cannabis.Net

Scott Moskol - Burns and Levinson Law

The show is a fascinating look at the idea of interstate commerce and the evolving cannabis industry.  Where do we stand right now in the legalization evolution?  Should there be a transition period built in before interstate commerce in order to protect small businesses and social equity applicants?  Is there any way that big Corporate Cannabis does not take over once interstate commerce is allowed?

Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show, click the video below!

Some interesting points brought up include:

1. The idea of state protectionism cuts both ways - Setting up legal moats to protect local small businesses and social equity businesses can be used by a state like California, that has too much legal grow and their SE business are struggling and need to export their product, or do you protect the SE and small businesses in states like Massachusetts and New York, who don't want to see their markets flooded with out-of-state weed?  Which social equity company do you protect, the one in California or the one in Massachusetts?


2. The lack of interstate commerce is protecting small growers and small businesses, but at what cost to consumers? The price of a pound of cannabis grown in the Emerald Triangle is $700 to $800, yet the price for a pound of indoor grow in Massachusetts is $4,200. How do we bridge that difference, so the consumer is treated fairly while protecting small businesses and social equity programs? This is similar to "buy local" advertising.  When we go do a store and see a product is 5 to 10% more than we could get it on Amazon, we swallow the price difference and say "buy local, support local business", but what if the price difference is 600%? Would you still buy local?


3. While the Dormant Commerce Clause my actually protect your rights in Federal court, all the panelist agreed that on every scenario you could come up with around transporting marijuana across a state line, you would indeed be breaking state laws.  Not as bad as Federal laws but you can still go to prison for a long time if you break enough state laws and are reckless about how you do it.


4. Would medical be treated different under state laws and Federal law if cannabis is treated as a medicine?  If you had a medical marijuana license and imported tested medical marijuana, would that fall under a different statue than say, a rec licenses holder going to California and buying 100 pounds of cannabis and driving back to say New York?  

We cover all these topics and whole lot more, because once you get 4 lawyers in a room, you know that we are going to go over billed hours and into overtime!

Click below and leave our comments!

Check out our Green Rush LIVE show on Fridays on YouTube and Twitch!





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