Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a new marijuana enforcement memo rescinding the Obama’s administrations’ guidance that allowed states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal prosecution. The one-page memo makes it clear that marijuana possession and distribution is against federal law. The memo also makes it clear that banks servicing the state-legal marijuana industry are violating federal law.
Currently, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted medical marijuana laws and eight states plus the District of Columbia have passed recreational marijuana laws.
The memo gives federal prosecutors leeway to go after marijuana violations in states where the drug is legal.
However, the Justice Department is blocked from using any money to prosecute medical marijuana usage in states where it’s legal due to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. On the other hand, this amendment must pass every year as part of the federal budget, which is up shortly.
We are tracking these developments and its impact on our industry in The Way.