Rescinding the Cole Memo and Recreational Marijuana

in #news7 years ago

Hello my fellow Steemians!

Today I post on a more somber note in regards to the fight to legalize recreational marijuana, and what today's events have meant for investors and what could be in-store for dispensaries.

The Cole Memo

Back in 2013 under the Obama administration, our representatives formulated a policy indicating that while cannabis would remain illegal under federal law, federal law enforcement would not interfere in states where cannabis was made legal if the states stuck by a few restrictions, such as barring minors from purchasing cannabis and making sure cannabis was not exported to states where it was still illegal. This policy was known as the Cole Memo, and today it was officially rescinded by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

This single decision caused a slaughter of cannabis stocks across the board, with a large amount of cannabis companies stocks dropping 30% or more. Across the board, cannabis stocks were down 15% since noon a few hours after Session's announcement.

Now What?

Now, individual US attorneys could file civil or criminal actions against state-legal cannabis businesses. This could theoretically close the business down or cause year-long (or even longer) court battles, halting business growth.

According to the DOJ:

In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.

Below is the official letter from Sessions himself.

Actions won't be taken immediately, but this is certainly a chilling moment for the industry. Dispensaries have already been operating with a fear of federal crackdown, now that fear is even more realistic. Is this the end for legal recreational marijuana? I don't think so, and many others don't believe so either. For example, Harborside Co-Founder Steve DeAngelo, who fought off a years-long federal enforcement action, sees this as more of a delaying tactic to suppress the rapid roll out of recreational cannabis.

I think this is an attempt to suppress the growth of the industry, not to kill us. It is more of a delaying tactic than a knife to our throat.
Steve DeAngelo

Either way, it certainly could cause many issues down the road for aspiring dispensaries. What do you guys think? Does anyone else have stake in the cannabis market?

For more information, read up on the current issue here, here, and here!


Love to see green

Sessions sadly does not represent the views of the American people.

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