What Federal Changes Mean for Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program

Jan 08, 2018, 02:37
What Federal Changes Mean for Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program

I am a states person. "It should be up to the states, absolutely".

Yet officials suggested to reporters Thursday that businesses and growers in legalized states have gotten too comfortable and that the primacy of state law means very little in Washington.

In what became colloquially known as the "Cole memo", the department recognized that the drug was still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act but gave federal prosecutors permission to focus their resources elsewhere, so long as the states didn't threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and targeting cartels.

"The Cole memo as interpreted created a safe harbor for the marijuana industry to operate in these states".

Legal marijuana business owners have the most to lose financially from the Sessions memo.

"It's going to be up to the new USA attorney, but we don't know what her position is on this yet". They also declined to specify what message the attorney general is sending to the pot industry, which is expanding in states with their own more lenient laws. The tone set by Sessions today puts people in those states on notice as well. They said it trampled on the rights of voters in those states and created uncertainty about how strictly federal drugs laws will be enforced. As of July, the state had brought in $505 million in cannabis-related taxes and fees since sales officially began in 2014.

Supporters, however - such as Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana - said the department is "protecting public health and safety" with its new guidelines. Before Sessions' announcement, experts predicted the US market might reach $50 billion by 2026. "This is an industry that Oregonians have chosen - and one I will do everything within my legal authority to protect", Rosenblum said.

"This is a direct betrayal of President Trump's campaign promise, which he made in Colorado", Kopel told TAC on Thursday.

A total of five businesses are licensed to cultivate, manufacture and sell marijuana products for medicinal purposes in New York, according to the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association.

In a tweet, Gardner threatened to retaliate by blocking confirmation of Sessions' nominees for DOJ positions.

There has been a surge in legalization of marijuana at the state level in recent years.

Jars of medicinal and recreational marijuana sit on a shelf in a display case at Sweet Relief in Astoria.

While Floridas fledgling medical marijuana market, with all its stops and starts, may not be a high-profile target, Sessions announcement could have a chilling effect on the industrys growth in the state, said Ben Pollara, executive director of marijuana advocacy organization Florida for Care and one of the authors of the medical marijuana amendment.

Q: Will this affect medical marijuana?

"What Jeff Sessions wants to do is roll back all of that".

"Strong as we are on state's rights here in Texas", Williams said. "I want the Trump administration to stand by its promises".

The federal perspective, however, has never changed. His legislation has support on both sides of the aisle, he insists, but members who oppose it have kept it from coming to a floor vote.

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that enables the federal government to intervene in the legalization of marijuana throughout each state.

If not, that will leave even more people and businesses vulnerable. Sessions recently rescinded an Obama administration policy that directed the federal government not to challenge state laws that allow people to use marijuana. This includes veterans, who have been choosing cannabis over prescription pills to treat symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"I think Brown and OR won't be able to be so casual with this", he said.

"This needs to be a state choice".

Rosenblum, who characterized Sessions' decision as overreach, made no indication of specific next steps other than she "valued her working relationship" with Williams and looked forward to working with him.

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