Federal law on marijuana prohibition has created an intolerable legal mess. (Tell us something we don’t know.) What’s notable is this sentiment was expressed by the U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who indicated he preferred the system laid out in a bipartisan House bill that would reform the law, allowing – finally – greater harmony between state and federal marijuana laws.
Barr’s remarks have cannabis business attorneys and others abuzz about whether this could be the true turning point that allows us to finally align federal and state marijuana laws. (It’s also worth noting they are in stark contrast to those of former U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sessions, who was staunchly opposed to legal cannabis in any form or federal cooperation to facilitate it.
Speaking to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barr said his preference is a legislative fix to the clash in statutes, one that ideally offers express rights to states to decide their own marijuana laws. At this point, all 33 states with legal medicinal marijuana and 10 with recreational marijuana in violation of federal statutes – namely the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The classification of cannabis under that provision simply defies logic, but it’s not less a possible risk. Los Angeles cannabis dispensaries, delivery drivers, cultivators, manufacturers and labs ALL should have a cannabis attorney on retainer to help ensure compliance with state laws and minimize the risk of federal ire on issues ranging from taxes to trade. Continue reading