Don’t revive commerce-killing regulations
As states begin to unwind and eliminate the restrictions they imposed on businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, some of the changes made – such as for carry-out liquor service, telemedicine, and medical marijuana delivery – may continue:
Industry representatives and lobbyists for restaurants, telehealth providers and medical marijuana agree this year has been one of the busiest and most successful legislative sessions they’ve ever seen. The American Telehealth Association is tracking roughly 600 bills, six times its usual workload, with many of those permanently extending measures that helped the once-niche industry explode into a major player.
Industries pressing their case before state lawmakers are banking on polls finding widespread support for these new conveniences.
What people are finding is those services worked to their advantage – giving them greater choice and flexibility. Of course the cartels that got lawmakers to regulate these services – or outright ban them – are working to return to the pre-pandemic status quo.
That would be a mistake. Chipping away at regulations and prohibitions that enrich the few and the expense of the many is a good thing that will lead to more innovation and economic activity. It’s sad it took a horrible disease to open lawmakers’ eyes to the benefits of less regulation. But let’s not close them again to appease the protectionists. Let the market work.