Folks, I present to you United States Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)!
This pair of Congressman filed the Small and Homestead Independent Producers (SHIP) Act on September 14, 2022. The SHIP Act will make it so that small farmers and producers of cannabis products have the ability to operate their agricultural businesses within and across state lines. It would allow them to ship flower and other products using the USPS or any other private shipping company in a direct-to-consumer model.
The legislation is specifically targeted to support the smallest family farmers. “Too often, the federal government falls behind, and the gears of Congress work too slowly to keep up with the pace of a changing economy,” said Representative Huffman. “Under my bill, folks will be able to ship their products straight to consumers when the antiquated federal prohibition on cannabis is finally repealed. As large, commercial cannabis operations squeeze out local producers from the market, this legislation is critical for farmers to survive and expand their small businesses. We cannot leave our smallest family-farmers behind under full legalization.”
Smaller businesses will struggle to compete against the handful of multi-state operators that are already monopolizing the legal, regulated cannabis industry and this piece of legislation aims to level the playing field and minimize that risk.
Ross Gordon, Policy Director of Humboldt County Growers Alliance and Policy Chair of Origins Council believes that “the SHIP Act moves the conversation beyond the question of who can get a license to cultivate cannabis and addresses the practical reality of building an equitable and accessible market for small cannabis producers.”
It is important to note that the SHIP Act is a trigger bill which means that it would only go into effect after Congress de-schedules and legalizes cannabis at a federal level. That federal legalization would then "trigger" this bill by putting it into effect. Whether it is wine or honey or cannabis, farmers and producers of these small scale businesses need the ability to sell their products directly via these methods.
The SHIP Act has already gained endorsements from a variety of organizations including the Origins Council, Humboldt County Growers Alliance, F.A.R.M.S. Inc, Washington Sun & Craft Growers Association, Vermont Growers Association, Maine Craft Cannabis Association, Farm Bug Co-Op, Big Sur Farmers Association, Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, Trinity County Agricultural Alliance and the Sonoma County Growers Alliance.
Shaleen Title, Founder of the Parabola Center, announced "Today we are endorsing a federal bill for the first time! We are proud to support the SHIP Act and all of the small business associations that developed it...Craft growers should be allowed to ship directly to consumers.”
Supporters of small farmers and craft cannabis (hint, hint... that means all of us!) should stay up-to-date on the movement of this bill. Once a bill is introduced it will then be referred to the appropriate United States House of Representatives Committee. If this is something you support, reach out to your elected Reps and let them know! Especially if one of your Reps sits on said Committee, and in the State of Connecticut our Reps are engaged! ;-)
Read the bill here: untitled (house.gov)
US House of Representatives Committees: List of United States House of Representatives committees - Wikipedia