Jeff Sessions, the Cole Memo and the Future of the Cannabis Industry
Safe access to medical marijuana is important for many patients across the United States.
Aside from the medical benefits offered to cannabis consumers, states with progressive cannabis reform have seen dramatic increases in revenue linked to the sale of cannabis. Earlier this year, Colorado reported that its tax revenue from cannabis sales had surpassed $500 million. Even better? 51% of that revenue has gone to K-12 education while one-quarter of the revenue is directed toward substance abuse treatment programs.
With these important benefits, it’s no wonder that cannabis advocates are wary of the Trump administration’s recent rollback of the Cole Memo.
If the federal government decides to crack down on cannabis, it would not only hurt the marijuana industry but also the communities it has proven to support.
Trump and Cannabis: An Overview
During the campaign trail, then-presidential-candidate Donald Trump mentioned that he would take a hands-off approach with the cannabis industry and leave it up to the states’ decisions. He also mentioned that he recognized the monetary benefits state and local governments receive from the legalization of cannabis.
However, as mentioned above, Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice have recently changed their tune. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, in September 2017, that the Department of Justice is reviewing the Cole Memo and its implications for the cannabis industry’s relationship with the government.
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