Up in Smoke? Will the Feds Begin Taking Enforcement Action Against Nascent State Marijuana Industry?

By Ricardo Carvajal & JP Ellison & John A. Gilbert

Press wires are abuzz this morning with reports that U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind an August 2013 Memorandum issued by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole, regarding marijuana-related enforcement activities by federal prosecutors.  The official announcement is expected later today, and we’ll be reading it closely.

Just yesterday, published reports indicated that marijuana activities accounted for $16 billion in economic output in 2017, with a projected $40 billion in 2021.  We expect that those projections may be undergoing revision.

In this time of uncertainty, understanding the law, policies, practices and state and federal enforcement and regulatory priorities will be critical.  Whether you have already made investments or other commitments based on state law developments and prior federal policies, or are considering a how to respond to the present fluid regulatory landscape, a nuanced understanding of what is happening and where things may go is critical.  Through our postings and otherwise, we plan to stay on top of these developments.