Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Feds change marijuana policy, which could affect businesses involved

Feds change marijuana policy, which could affect businesses involved

Robert Troyer, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado and the man who decides how to enforce federal cannabis laws here, issued a statement shortly after Sessions issued his memo, saying that his office had already been operating under the principles Sessions outlined, and would continue focusing on the "greatest safety threats to our communities around the state".

It's not clear what impact the change will have or whether federal prosecutions of marijuana cultivation or sales will increase, but the change makes prosecution easier. State laws that legalize marijuana are in conflict with federal law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the same category as heroin and LSD.

Buying Marijuana Nothing about the Sessions memo changed how a dispensary operates, and it didn't force any state-legalized marijuana industries to shut down.

Among companies that have invested in the industry, Scotts Miracle-Gro, a gardening product manufacturer, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire companies that sell soil, lighting, fertilizer and other products to marijuana growers.

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Funding for such startups has been on an upswing since Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana use in 2014. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Sessions' announcement was "disruptive to state regulatory regimes." Sen.

And Colorado's US attorney, Bob Troyer, who was appointed to his office by Sessions in November, said Thursday that the attorney general's directive would not change his policy to prosecute only marijuana operations that "create the greatest safety threats to our communities".

An Obama-era policy that made is possible for legalized marijuana to become a reality in some states has now been rescinded by the Trump administration.

Of particular note, Sessions said, "previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately".

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"That would be his top priority, and that is regardless of what the topic is, whether it's marijuana or whether it's immigration", Sanders told reporters.

The pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project said Sessions' shift would only encourage the illegal drug trade and harm people using marijuana as a medicine, which 29 states have legalized.

The Los Angeles City Council in December finalized and approved three ordinances that regulate the sale of recreational marijuana in the city. Liberals and conservatives alike hold their policy commitments more deeply than any federalist principles, and they invoke those principles as weapons of convenience in their fights over policy.

When asked whether the Justice Department was considering suing states that attempt to legalize the drug after this new policy has gone into effect, one senior Justice official said, "Further steps are still under consideration". Federal law forbids the growing, use, and buying or selling of marijuana.

USA attorneys around the country responded cautiously to Sessions' announcement. This decision will create massive uncertainty, hurt local businesses and tax revenue, and harm public safety by driving cannabis activity back into the more unsafe black market.

Wykowski said the fear of prosecution "could make investors more concerned about putting money into the industry".

Whatever Elieson's feelings on the issue, marijuana business owners don't believe they're in immediate jeopardy. But Arcview's leader, Troy Dayton, said the industry was resilient.

Q: Will this affect medical marijuana?

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