Going to Pot

Posted in: I'm a Mover, Moving Industry News

Some Budding Questions

In the course of helping our customers move we become well-accustomed to questions about what can be transported. I’ve got a cabinet full of good liquor here, I don’t want to just throw it all out. What about this never-opened motor oil? Is it a problem if I load these brand new mini fire extinguishers?

Now we see in this Relo Roundtable article we can soon expect similar questions about that little green plant making big headlines these days.

Be warned: this article is long and comprehensive.

Sit back: we sum up the most salient points for you here.

The Dope

After explaining what many already know – that support for the legalization of marijuana is growing, and not just among Joe and Mary Jane citizen but on Capitol Hill – and then tossing in a few gratuitous examples of what we movers find on occasion in customers’ homes, the article poses the question:

“The problem facing licensed movers involved in transporting household goods in interstate commerce today is what happens if having, or growing, or transporting pot or its paraphernalia becomes legal in some or all states. Does the full-service moving industry have a plan?”

‘Noted transportation consultant’ Colin Barrett then offers these observations:

“In Colorado, it seems that transportation of marijuana, while legal within the state, will have to be accomplished mainly in some form of private carriage. Under current state regulations, only those licensed to produce or sell marijuana may carry it. That pretty well rules out commercial carriers from handling this traffic, unless, of course, they get themselves special licensing in that trade.

The rules, however, do allow use of owner-operators by the licensed growers/retailers to handle the physical aspects of the transportation process. There also would seem to be no obstacle to private trucking operators from also hauling other goods for hire, and even possibly commingling the shipments.

At the same time, there are a number of other rules concerning security of the cargo while in transit. The effort is to minimize the possibility of theft or pilferage. In this regard, marijuana will be treated (in Colorado, at least) quite differently from other controlled substances, including opiates, which have some federally approved medical uses and thus may legally be transported in interstate commerce.”

So what does this mean for each of us? Today, perhaps nothing – except for those of us doing business in Colorado. Down the road you can bet that there will be some rules and regulations that we will all need to understand – and be able to explain to our cannabis-minded customers.

The article winds up with a few open-ended questions.

Now that the Supreme Court has affirmed traditional property-based limits on government invasions of privacy, do the moving, storage, and special products transportation industries have a well developed, collaborated plan to cope with the rapidly expanding marijuana marketplace?

Can Alice B. Toklas brownies be shipped in the same carton as breakfast cereal, Bisquik, and other pantry items if individually wrapped and sealed?

Obviously the article raises more questions than it answers. But with the direction and speed of the marijuana trend expect some answers – and probably more questions – to come up soon.


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