WSWA Releases Principles of Safe, Smart and Responsible Federal Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis

Mar 17, 2021
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America keeps public safety at the forefront of newly released guidance for the cannabis marketplace rooted in the best practices of the long, successful history of alcohol regulation.

WASHINGTON, D.C., 03/17/2021 – Today, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) released a model federal regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis rooted in the near century of experience the industry has in transporting and regulating socially sensitive products.


“Americans have confidence in our regulated alcohol system and our experience can benefit lawmakers creating a U.S. adult-use cannabis market,” said WSWA CEO and President Michelle Korsmo. “WSWA members have successfully partnered with suppliers and distributed socially sensitive products to locally licensed retailers for the last century. The U.S. alcohol marketplace is the safest and most diverse in the world because of the smart and enforceable federal regulatory model that ensures product integrity, efficient tax collection and public safety.”


As the descheduling of adult-use cannabis becomes a reality in the U.S. Congress, WSWA’s framework is built on four principles that draw on long-established successful federal law governing the alcohol industry and provide a transparent and accountable system for adult-use cannabis production, testing, distribution across state lines, effective tax collection and public safety measures.


WSWA’s Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain:

  1. The Federal Permitting of Cannabis Producers, Importers, Testing Facilities and Distributors
  2. The Approval and Regulation of Cannabis Products
  3. The Efficient and Effective Collection of Federal Excise Tax; and
  4. Effective Measures to Ensure Public Safety


Similar to the system of permits, product approval and taxation that has served the alcohol supply chain well through the last century, the WSWA Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain does not seek to alter how states administer their adult-use programs, but rather is an additive system that allows for the interoperability between states in a new national marketplace.


The WSWA regulatory model supports and facilitates low barriers to business permitting, including for those who have prior, non-violent cannabis related offenses, to help level the playing field and provide opportunities for individuals and communities that have been victimized by the federal government’s failed war on drugs. WSWA will continue to support the efforts of experts who advocate for other social equity measures to alleviate the damage done to these communities.


To learn more read WSWA’s latest Policy Brief: WSWA Principles for Federal Oversight of the Adult-Use Cannabis Supply Chain



About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. 


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