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State lawmakers expected in new session to debate legalizing pot

State lawmakers expected in new session to debate legalizing pot”

"As long as compliant operators remain compliant, and follow the rules of the program, I think programs are going to continue", he said. "I'd have no idea where they were going".

The chief architect of Obama-era policies that largely shielded marijuana-legal states from heightened federal scrutiny said the decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind that guidance will create uncertainty in an industry craving stability.

Thursday's action would have an impact on Sierra Well employees, Leal added, though he stopped short of saying it would mean immediate layoffs.

"We are going to keep doing that and overseeing the well-regulated market that Washington voters approved", he said.

In Fort Collins, Colo, dispensary owner Steve Ackerman urged his industry to hew even closer to the state regulations.

"I also don't want to get taxed to the teeth on it", he said.

The action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions could have damaging consequences on the burgeoning marijuana industry in the six states including California and Colorado that have legalized the drug for recreational use, plus dozens of others that permit medicinal use.

The Southern Colorado Cannabis Council also plans to work to protect the industry.

"As the Justice Department has highlighted, medical studies confirm that marijuana is in fact a risky drug, and it is illegal under federal law", Lelling said. Like many growers, Albert is considering whether to transition to sell recreational marijuana or remain exclusively a medical-marijuana supplier.

Pace said legal cannabis venders should be safe for now, but are advising businesses to stay aware. He says things will now be left up to federal prosecutors.

Shops at first will be able to sell marijuana harvested without the regulatory controls that eventually will require extensive testing for potency, pesticides and other contaminants.

A clerk at the Cannabaska marijuana store in Anchorage discusses the particulars of a strain of cannabis with a customer.

He predicts there would be an "uproar" if the federal government moved against what states have done.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a one-page memo to all U.S. Attorneys telling them "marijuana is a unsafe drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime" and "previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately".

Sessions' decision led to a skid in prices for marijuana-related stocks that had surged for weeks surrounding California pot sales. While no marijuana is being sold or grown in Nipton, Calif., the company's renovations are well underway.

Colorado's US attorney, Bob Troyer, said his office won't change its approach to prosecution, despite Sessions' guidance.

Critics said the ad resembled alcohol ads that present a glorified image of a product and remind users at the end to "please drink responsibly". They note that the American cannabis industry is 100% homegrown.

"The most disappointing point about this is that it goes against what over half the states and half the population of the country have voted to support", said Jeffry Paul of Cannabiniers, a Nevada-based manufacturer of cannabis-infused teas and coffee. According to Erick Eschker, an economics professor at Humboldt State University, about $5.5 billion of California's $7.8 billion in pot sales is generated from unlicensed and unregulated growers, distributors, and dispensaries. "Ultimately the will of the people and job creation is in jeopardy, so what is the objective here being put forth?"

What is the policy Sessions is rescinding?

How that plays out on the ground, from sunny California to snowed-in MA, is a question that has kept the phones of marijuana attorneys busy.

The buzz kill long dreaded in the marijuana industry came just days after California opened what is expected to be the world's largest legal pot market. Simi Valley has never even OK'd medical sales, which have been allowed in the state since 1996.

The majority of the ad featured people talking about why they use marijuana. MA and ME are on track to do so in 2018.

Driving while under the influence remains illegal, and one's marijuana stash must be kept in a closed container or in the trunk.



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