This morning, Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed as the new US Attorney General and it brings up some concerns about where the cannabis industry goes from here. I, actually, have concerns, about the newly appointed AG Sessions, on several issues. At the top of my list though, is that he is known for having strong anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage, and very, very anti-cannabis views. He has gone on record with comments such as, he thought the KKK “were OK until I found out they smoked pot.” and “Good people don’t smoke marijuana”. Additionally, in April he stated that he felt Marijuana was a “very real danger” that it is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.” AG Sessions has called marijuana reform a “tragic mistake” and criticized FBI Director James Comey as well as former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch for not enforcing a federal prohibition forcefully enough. So now that he is confirmed, does this mean that the cannabis industry is sunk? Really? Now that public perception has finally begun to change! How is that even possible?
A recent article by Politico indicated that “Sessions has not shared his plans on marijuana enforcement, but if he chooses, he will be able to act decisively and quickly”. They went on to say that “with little more than the stroke of his own pen, the new attorney general will be able to arrest growers, retailers, and users, defying the will of more than half the nation’s voters”. Well, that’s comforting!
Fortunately, AG Sessions has also been fairly outspoken about his beliefs on States Rights, during his political career, as well. Not to mention, the cannabis industry is currently estimated at $6.7 billion and expected to explode into $21.8 billion by 2020. Large companies, like Apple, Microsoft and Scott’s Miracle-Grow have entered the cannabis, since 2015 and several companies even trade on the NY Stock Exchange. However, full disclosure, they focus on medical research rather than cultivating, manufacturing or dispensing.
At this point, nobody really knows how AG Sessions will address the cannabis industry. Previous comments, by President Trump and AG Sessions, have indicated that they are ok with medical cannabis. However, neither seem to agree with recreational cannabis, as an activity or industry. Let’s just hope that they can see the cannabis industry as a money making, job producing opportunity and choose to go after the cartels and guerrilla growers.