The governor of Colorado accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions this past weekend of plotting to create doubt in the legal cannabis industry and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the top law enforcer would crackdown on a few legal-state based facilities.
As part of an interview on The Hill’s Power Politics podcast, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said on Saturday (February 24) Sessions “does not think in any way that it’s a good thing for this country to have legal marijuana.”
“After talking with the attorney general, Hickenlooper said he believes the Justice Department wants to “sow doubt” through tough federal action as a way to deter the marijuana trend nationwide,” The Hill wrote.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he closes down one or two of these facilities just to make that statement,” Hickenlooper said. The governor said he hopes Congress will get involved in the situation.
“Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, Congress will step in and say, ‘OK, we’re going to allow states to pursue these experiments, and we’re going to let them have banking so it’s not all done in cash,” Hickenlooper said.
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Tension between different branches of US government for cannabis policy
In January, Sessions rescinded a memorandum providing cannabis enterprises, in legal states, with validations under a federal level. He then introduced his own guidance allowing all federal prosecutors to target cannabis companies previously protected.
The move from the Attorney General caused a major share price decrease in the cannabis public markets and forced the Canadian Securities Exchange to ask companies with operations in the US, to provide an update on their risk disclosures to shareholders.
So far there hasn’t been a targeted suppression of the legal cannabis industry. However, as an effect of the new Sessions memo, US Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling told the Boston Globe he could not rule out the possibility of federal prosecution for legal cannabis businesses.
Sessions was named as a defendant for a New York lawsuit seeking to change the federal government’s stance on cannabis.
Last year it was revealed the Attorney General even sent a letter to leaders in Congress asking for the removal of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. This change would allow the Justice Department to crackdown on the cannabis companies in legal states, as the drug remains illegal at a federal level.
The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives,” Sessions wrote in the letter, uncovered by Massroots.
As part of an Investing News Network (INN) investor guide into cannabis companies publicly listed on the CSE, Alan Brochstein, cannabis analyst with 420 Investor said companies were very dependant on the maintenance of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.