Booze Wholesalers Selling Cannabis Is Like Letting the Sharks in Pool
Yes, yes, yes. We all know that beer, wine and spirit wholesalers have everyone’s best interests at heart when they advocate that cannabis be distributed in the same manner as alcohol: controlled in every way by middlemen who can charge ridiculous margins by virtue of being able to stop interstate competition.
If this is the way things are going to go, then I have a suggestion: in no way whatsoever should the federal government cede its commerce clause powers to the states where cannabis sales are concerned. By assuring that states may not pass laws that discriminate against interstate commerce in cannabis, we won’t be left with the inefficient, rent-seeking, anti-competitive, anti-consumer laws that wholesalers have worked for 80 years to foist upon the alcohol marketplace.
Sure, let the state’s pass their own laws. But don’t allow states to pass laws that throw up absurd residency requirements for permit holders. Don’t throw up laws that bar out-of-state producers from selling directly to dispensaries in other states. And don’t allow state laws that bar direct to consumer shipment from out-of-state producers and retailers.
If states want to legally impose separate producer and wholesaler and dispensary licenses for the distribution of cannabis solely within their own borders, then let them go down this anti-competitive path. But don’t let them violate the dormant commerce clause in the process.
Perhaps most important, let’s not buy into the wholesalers’ self-serving and completely incompetent reasoning that their involvement can somehow keep sales of cannabis safe:
“We shared our view that both alcohol and cannabis are intoxicants that have potential for impairment and misuse. Regulating them similarly is sound policy.”—Dawson Hobbs, WSWA’s senior vice president of government affairs.
Someone needs to be honest and remind lawmakers that wholesalers have done nothing to keep alcohol safe, nor have they have in any way prevented misuse of alcohol. Producers of alcohol keep alcohol safe and retailers and on-premise personnel keep it from being misused. Wholesalers put boxes on trucks, drive trucks and drop off boxes.