The marijuana industry in the U.S. is slated to become a $20 billion industry in the next four years. However, we could change course on that very rapidly depending on the approach taken by our new new commander-in-chief and those he has placed in top positions of power. There are millions of dollars and many businesses at stake.
There is reason to believe Donald Trump may lean toward favoring states’ rights on the issue. Others believe he may at the very least support medical marijuana rights. However, we also know that Trump has shown no problem walking back from several of the promises he made on the campaign trail, so it’s not illogical that he would shy away from statements in support of medicinal marijuana. On top of this, there is concern given that his U.S. attorney general pick Jeff Sessions is a vocal opponent of any form of marijuana legalization, refusing to concede even the benefits of the drug as a form of medicine.
Still, states have already taken incredible measures to pass laws and initiate regulation. What impact could Trump really have on the industry? It turns out a lot. Here are four scenarios we might see over the next four years.
- No. 1. The Trump administration takes on both recreational and medicinal marijuana in an attempt to eradicate both. Trump has expressed a desire to scrap pretty much anything and everything that was established by President Obama. That includes, apparently, a willingness to slash health insurance for 22 million people and upend the entire insurance industry. This tells us going after the marijuana industry isn’t likely to rattle him much. If the administration decided to do this, they could simply toss the Cole Memorandum that carved a path for recreational marijuana, which means we could once again be seeing marijuana dispensaries close shop, their assets subject to forfeiture. Something to keep an eye on is the Rohrbacher-Farr amendment, which prevents the government from spending money to target medicinal marijuana. But this amendment expires April 28th. If Congress does not renew it, that protection dissipates.
- No. 2. Recreational marijuana becomes the primary target. Government leaders could start by initiating raids on retailers of marijuana that cater to adults, seizing their money and assets – and not ever charging anyone formally with a crime. The majority of marijuana businesses at this point do not have the financial backing to battle the federal government in court, especially when there are very limited legal protections for those in the industry.
- No. 3. Nothing changes. It is possible the administration won’t do anything, allowing the Cole Memo to remain in place and allowing any state that has authorized legalization to proceed without government interference.
- No. 4. The new administration supports marijuana industry. We do know that Trump got his start as a businessman. Many of those who are operating his cabinet are businessmen as well. Marijuana as an industry has generated some 150,000 jobs across the country. De-scheduling marijuana could be an extremely popular move for the president, and he may yet make it.
If you are concerned about your marijuana business under the new administration, consult with an experienced L.A. marijuana lawyer.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
5 Ways Trump Could Affect The Marijuana Industry, Jan. 20, 2017, By Debra Borchardt, Forbes.com
More Blog Entries:
Medical Marijuana Access in Florida Limited, For Now, Jan. 19, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Lawyer Blog