Cannabis industry updates are generally slow and predictable lately.
But not for the first week of the new year. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions took it upon himself to rescind the Cole Memo last week – not only to the surprise of the booming state legal cannabis industry, but also to the surprise of the Senators and Congresspeople from states with legal cannabis sales programs.
In this episode, Hazel & Kim are going to run you through what they know, and what no one knows yet, about California, the loss of Cole and how things might shake out in the next few months with banking and transaction processing.
The first thing we want to point out here, in regards to the Cole Memo and the FinCEN guidance, is that neither of those items has, or would have, the force of law behind them. We talked – in our previous podcast, Cole Memo, Fincen Guidance and Marijuana Banking, which I think was episodes 51 and 53 – it was a two part show – about how guidance works, how the law is structured and how the budget appropriations bill also impacts the federal governments ability to prosecute crimes that occur in the marijuana situation.
The Cole Memo, and the accompanying FinCEN guidance, have been the sort of “law of the land” regarding state legal cannabis programs for a number of years now, but it does appear, that in the face of all rational thought, and the vast majority of American’s opinions, Sessions has decided to chuck it all out the window and let his personal opinion take precedence over the American people.
Or has he? We’ve got a GREAT conspiracy theory on the CannabisWallet.net blog, you might want to have a quick look on your lunch break –
Odds are that something is going to happen, but the real question is what is that something and who is going to make it happen?
And I also think that we’re going to see legislation at the federal level passed – probably in the next few weeks, that’s going to give protection to the industry. I don’t know how the wording will go, but I’m guessing that most of the states who have active cannabis are not going to put their current licensees out of business – they’ll want to create a means to protect them, and yet legalize at the same time. Just my personal bet.
There are plenty of cannabis industry updates on tap this week as well – after all, California is just one week into the new adult use, or casual, usage laws, and while many locations are up and running with their adult use sales, large cities like LA and San Francisco are still working on the kinks in the licensing process.