Small US marijuana firms could sell direct to consumers under new bill

A bill filed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday would allow small marijuana cultivators and producers to sell directly to customers, which could give them a boost when competing against larger companies.

Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, is leading the legislation, titled the Small and Homestead Producers (SHIP) Act.

The bill – co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat – would go into effect only if marijuana is legalized at the federal level.

The measure defines small growers as anyone who grows up to 1 acre of marijuana canopy outdoors, up to 22,000 square feet in a greenhouse or up to 5,000 square feet indoors.

Small manufacturers are defined as those who produce salve, tinctures, edibles or concentrates and have a gross annual revenue of less than $5 million.

“Under my bill, folks in our state will be able to ship their products straight to consumers when the antiquated federal prohibition on cannabis is finally repealed,” Huffman said in a news release.

“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.”

The language in the SHIP Act stipulates that “a small farmer of marijuana and a small producer of a marijuana product may send and sell marijuana or a marijuana product to a person located in that state or any other state that contains marijuana or a marijuana product.”

Under the bill, growers could use the postal service or other private or commercial interstate carriers to send product.