After the president-elect, Donald J. Trump has announced that he will support Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, the medical marijuana business has been thrown into chaos. The business owners frown upon Trump’s choice, but there is little they can do. All that is left for them is to sit tight for now and hope for the best when the new administration takes over.
Several states have already decriminalized the drug. Moreover, only a week ago, there have even been some discussions to expand the medical marijuana program to patients suffering from chronic pain, as well. In 2013, Colorado citizens have voted for the right to use, sell, and buy medical marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Today, there are more than 500 dispensaries in Colorado that deliver medical marijuana to people in need, regulated by 14 testing facilities.
As far as retail marijuana goes, there have been approximately 600 grow operations registered in Colorado to the day and roughly 200 product manufacturers, also supervised by testing facilities.
Ever since Donald Trump has officially announced his choice for Attorney General, medical marijuana business owners and people alike across the U.S. have expressed their concerns in regard to the future development of the industry. As of 2016, Alaska, Colorado, California, Washington, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts citizens can use marijuana for both recreational as well as medical purposes. However, the business owners all across the country still have their hopes up.
“We are fully prepared to go forward and deal with the blows we are given”, says Steve Ackerman, the owner of Organic Alternatives.
Government Officials Opinion
In a past statement, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s top choice for Attorney General has vigorously expressed his opposition towards the use of marijuana. In April, during a Senate hearing he suggested that marijuana use is only for the wicked.
Under president Barack Obama, the administration did not interfere much with the medical marijuana industry. However, the business owners are sure that things are about to change for the worse. The local police force in states where the use of marijuana has been legalized cannot enforce federal laws or marijuana regulations. As a result, a sheriff, for example, is unable to arrest individuals for possession.
On the other hand, federal agents won’t spend their days and resources on pursuing criminal charges for individuals that use cannabis. Instead, they could target the business owners and conduct raids on grow operations and dispensaries.
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