Trade court OKs cannabis equipment imports to Washington state

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The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) ruled that a Canadian manufacturer can import cannabis trimming equipment to Washington state, an important development for the industry nationwide.

Judge Claire Kelly ruled that the state’s repeal of past restrictions on marijuana-related drug paraphernalia provided an authorization to Keirton USA to manufacture, possess and distribute such products, Trade Law Daily reported.

Keirton USA, which makes agricultural equipment for marijuana and hemp businesses, filed a lawsuit last year in Seattle charging U.S. Customs and Border Protection with wrongly blocking imports from Canada of components needed by its Washington state subsidiary to build trimming machines.

The manufacturer of the Twister Trimmer has headquarters in Ferndale, Washington, and Surrey, British Columbia.

The lawsuit went to the U.S. Court of International Trade after a U.S. district judge dropped the case in 2021 after agreeing with the Border Patrol that the CIT could hear Keirton’s claims.

The CIT’s ruling contends the importation of cannabis-related paraphernalia qualified as an exemption under the Federal Mail Order Drug Paraphernalia Control Act of 1986.

The decision can still be contested by the U.S. government.

But the court’s ruling is a potentially big win for Washington state cannabis operators, who can now source equipment and other components from foreign suppliers.

The decision might also open the door for similar developments in other states, according to the Harris Bricken international law firm.