Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Calls for Federal Marijuana Legalization

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has endorsed the legalization of marijuana and released a model federal regulatory framework for the legal marijuana industry.

The WSWA, a trade association founded 80 years ago in 1943, says their framework is rooted in the near century of experience the industry has in transporting and regulating socially sensitive products.

“Americans have confidence in our regulated alcohol system and our experience can benefit lawmakers creating a U.S. adult-use cannabis market,” said WSWA CEO and President Michelle Korsmo. “WSWA members have successfully partnered with suppliers and distributed socially sensitive products to locally licensed retailers for the last century.”

Korsmo says that “The U.S. alcohol marketplace is the safest and most diverse in the world because of the smart and enforceable federal regulatory model that ensures product integrity, efficient tax collection and public safety.”

WSWA’s framework is built on four principles that “draw on long-established successful federal law governing the alcohol industry and provide a transparent and accountable system for adult-use cannabis production, testing, distribution across state lines, effective tax collection and public safety measures.”

WSWA’s Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain:

  1. The Federal Permitting of Cannabis Producers, Importers, Testing Facilities and Distributors
  2. The Approval and Regulation of Cannabis Products
  3. The Efficient and Effective Collection of Federal Excise Tax; and
  4. Effective Measures to Ensure Public Safety

Similar to the system of permits, product approval and taxation that has served the alcohol supply chain well through the last century, the WSWA Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain does not seek to alter how states administer their adult-use programs, but rather is an additive system that allows for the interoperability between states in a new national marketplace.

The WSWA regulatory model supports and facilitates low barriers to business permitting, including for those who have prior, non-violent cannabis related offenses, to help level the playing field and provide opportunities for individuals and communities that have been victimized by the federal government’s failed war on drugs. WSWA will continue to support the efforts of experts who advocate for other social equity measures to alleviate the damage done to these communities.

To learn more read WSWA’s latest Policy Brief: WSWA Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain

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