What Trump said about marijuana enforcement while campaigning in Colorado

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision to clear the way for possible enforcement of federal laws that outlaw marijuana contradicts what Donald Trump told The Colorado Springs Gazette during his presidential campaign.

During a conversation with The Gazette’s editorial board in July 2016, Trump, then the GOP nominee, repeatedly pledged that he would respect states’ legalization laws and take a wait-and-see approach to enforcing federal law. Continue reading “What Trump said about marijuana enforcement while campaigning in Colorado”

Federal marijuana bills boosted by new supporters as Congress gets back to work

Lawmakers lined up behind several cannabis-related House bills in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy shift last week rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo that had protected states with marijuana laws.

The U.S. House of Representatives officially returned from recess Tuesday morning, but a slew of Democrats got to work Monday by adding their names as co-sponsors on four marijuana-related bills: The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 (House Bill 975), The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 (House Bill 1227), Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act (House Bill 1823), and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act (House Bill 1841). Continue reading “Federal marijuana bills boosted by new supporters as Congress gets back to work”

Cannabis industry organization forms to “be ready” for national legalization

Cannabis is joining the ranks of the financial, advertising, real estate and alcohol industries with the formation of its first self-regulatory organization.

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) launched Thursday with a powerhouse leadership team and an ambitious plan: Develop and enforce national standards that will increase compliance and transparency, spur growth, and shape future federal regulations. Continue reading “Cannabis industry organization forms to “be ready” for national legalization”

DEA seeks dismissal of hemp industry lawsuit fighting drug code for “marihuana extracts”

The legal distinctions between marijuana and hemp are at the center of a debate in a federal lawsuit.

The Drug Enforcement Administration stands firm on its drug code for “marihuana extracts” in a brief filed Friday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and seeks to have a federal lawsuit by the hemp industry dismissed. Continue reading “DEA seeks dismissal of hemp industry lawsuit fighting drug code for “marihuana extracts””

It took the Trump Administration just a month to turn Obama-era drug policy on its head

My third son, William, was born on April 28. I’ve spent the past month or so getting to know him (thanks, Washington Post’s generous parental leave policy!), and not paying much attention to federal drug policy.

As it turns out I missed quite a bit. In the month of May alone, the Trump administration, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department, steadily ratcheted up its tough-on-crime rhetoric and put in place some policies that give that rhetoric some real-world bite. Continue reading “It took the Trump Administration just a month to turn Obama-era drug policy on its head”

Maryland just got its first licensed grower of medical marijuana

The commission that oversees Maryland’s fledgling medical cannabis program voted Wednesday to award the state’s first full license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The stage two license, awarded to Forward Gro LLC, is a final sign-off from regulators for putting plants in the ground. The company will still have to wait for dispensaries to be fully inspected and licensed before it can sell cannabis products to approved patients, which it hopes to do by late summer or early fall. Continue reading “Maryland just got its first licensed grower of medical marijuana”

New federal bill would allow banking for marijuana businesses

Marijuana businesses can’t openly bank and congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., is hoping to change that.

Perlmutter on Thursday introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act), legislation that would allow banks to serve marijuana-related businesses without fear of penalties from the federal government. Continue reading “New federal bill would allow banking for marijuana businesses”

Cannabis companies flock to Canada as US laws keep them off stock exchange

When Hadley Ford created a company for investing in the fast-growing business of legal marijuana, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker left New York and headed north of the border.

While more than half of U.S. states allow marijuana for medical or recreational use, the drug is still outlawed by the federal government, starving pot entrepreneurs of institutional capital. Continue reading “Cannabis companies flock to Canada as US laws keep them off stock exchange”

Medical pot bill in South Carolina bolstered by conservatives

South Carolina Rep. Eric Bedingfield once shunned all marijuana use, but when his eldest son’s six-year struggle with opioid addiction ended with his overdose a year ago, the conservative Republican co-sponsored medical cannabis legislation. Continue reading “Medical pot bill in South Carolina bolstered by conservatives”

Hickenlooper: It’s unclear whether Trump could stop legal marijuana

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, as a guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, downplayed the possibility that the Trump administration would take aim at Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry, saying legalization’s inclusion in the state Constitution makes it unclear whether the federal government could shut it down. Continue reading “Hickenlooper: It’s unclear whether Trump could stop legal marijuana”