The Trump Administration and Legalized Marijuana
Incoming Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions (R:AL) has taken a firm and consistent stand against legalization of Marijuana.
If confirmed by the US Senate, and he will be, AG Sessions is widely thought to be likely to abandon the Obama Administration’s “look the other way” policy on state laws on Marijuana.
The Big Q: What will that mean?
The Big A: It might mean is a flood of lawsuits that would cost the Justice Department millions of dollars. But, the optics are poor.
For President Trump, it’s a political calculation.
How does he receive more favorable press coverage?
He cannot lose because, if AG Sessions leaves enforcement as it has been for the past several years, Donald Trump can take credit. Remember, Donald Trump, since Y 1990 is on the record that marijuana should be legal in the US.
If he allows AG Sessions to return to the good/bad old days, and it results in massive bad press, DonaldTrump can step in and say it was all a misunderstanding and there will not be any change.
And them AG Sessions would be forced to take the same line as Newt Gingrich did last week regarding his comment that Draining the Swamp was no longer a priority.
Donald Trump set Mr. Gingrich straight and Mr.Gingrich publicly ate his words the next day.
That of AG Sessions could resign, that is highly unlikely. He has bigger goals and the Justice Department is the best place go after them.
The Arizona Department of Health Services lottery in October produced some big winners in the competition to make money in the Medical Marijuana industry.
The lottery winners were granted licenses to open a Medical Marijuana dispensary in a state where patients with prescriptions to treat conditions such as glaucoma and cancer spent $215-M last year on Marijuana products.
Arizona’s public health officials awarded most licenses based on rules designed to place new dispensaries within range of the greatest number of Medical Marijuana patients. But when it was not clear which applicant was in the most patient-dense area, they used a lottery to select the winners sidestepping conflict.
States have struggled with how to give out potentially lucrative Medical Marijuana licenses trying to balance public health concerns against an entrepreneurial spirit and avoid a bevy of lawsuits.
Many want to ensure the businesses are well run and are supplying quality products.
But even in states like Arizona where dispensaries are required to be non-profits, competition for licenses can lead to a Gold Rush mentality and lawsuits as entrepreneurs see Medical Marijuana industry with $4.2-M in sales in Y 2014.
So, I am going on the record and saying that the Trump Administration will be at least friendly to the Medical Marijuana industry in the US, and he could go so far as to legalize it nationwide during his term in the Oval Office.
Have a terrific week.