Author: Olivia Jayne
Published: January 24, 2017
It’s official: The Donald is our Commander-in-Chief and Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as our next Attorney General. Does the administration change spell trouble for the cannabis industry, will federal marijuana prohibition finally come to an end, or will policy makers simply maintain the status quo?
Current dissonance between federal and state laws leaves recreational retailers open to federal raids – a problem many small businesses don’t have the financial resources to overcome. On the campaign trail, Trump expressed approval for medical marijuana, but says of recreational use, “I think it’s bad.”
Many speculate a Trump presidency will back the cannabis industry, embracing a booming business sector and standing up for states’ rights – After all, American industry and state sovereignty have been at the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Not to mention legalization is popular. In a 2016 Pew Research study, 57% of U.S. adults were in favor of legalization, marking a significant shift in public opinion.
(Trump 2020: Make America Dope Again.)
Sessions has been vocal as a marijuana critic, saying in an April 2016 senate drug hearing, “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” Despite Sessions’ anti-legalization stance, however, Trump’s Press Secretary commented that the entire cabinet will be “implementing a Trump agenda.”
Hmm… that leaves us asking, which agenda? If that agenda entails waging war on weed, billions of dollars (to the tune of $21-billion by 2021 according to ArcView) and countless jobs could be at stake.
Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots commented, “If Senator Sessions goes after the regulated cannabis industry, he will destroy tens of thousands of jobs, shut down hundreds of small businesses and take away millions of dollars from our schools. Hopefully the Trump Administration supports states’ rights on cannabis legalization, despite Senator Sessions’ personal views.”
Time will tell what the future holds for the cannabis industry. In the meantime, we’re waiting (and speculating) with bated breath.