Marijuana Industry Angered by White House Reversal
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Marijuana Industry Angered by White House Reversal
Posted by CN Staff on February 24, 2017 at 11:56:31 PT
By Jennifer Kaplan and Polly Mosendz
USA -- The cannabis industry was rattled after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects the Department of Justice to increase enforcement of federal laws prohibiting recreational pot, even in states where it’s already legal.Along with the District of Columbia, eight states have legalized recreational use among adults, including California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada just this past November. That means one in five American adults can smoke, vape, drink, or eat cannabis as they please under state law. Meanwhile, more than half of the nation’s states have legalized medical marijuana despite federal laws prohibiting its sale. The industry is estimated to be worth north of $6 billion and will hit $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co.
“Today’s news coming out of the administration regarding the adult use of cannabis is, of course, disappointing,” Derek Peterson, chief executive officer of marijuana cultivator Terra Tech Corp., said yesterday in a statement. “We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states’ rights in the same manner they have on several other issues.”Spicer sought to distinguish the prospect of federal enforcement for medical, vs. recreational, cannabis use, saying, “there’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.” Spicer’s statements reanimated industry concern that first arose when Republican President Donald Trump’s short list of potential attorney general nominees emerged. The final pick, former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a Republican, has long opposed cannabis use but is a major proponent of states' rights. In his mid-January confirmation hearing, Sessions said he wouldn’t “commit to never enforcing federal law” but added that “absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government.” He said that if Congress felt marijuana possession should no longer be illegal, it “should pass a law.” Trump has similarly gone back and forth on the issue of legalization.The Bloomberg Intelligence Global Cannabis Index fell as much as 3.7 percent after Spicer’s press briefing.A crackdown on the industry would reverse existing federal policy and go against public opinion. The Obama administration largely deferred to the states, focusing instead on preventing distribution to minors, blocking sales across state lines, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of gangs and criminals. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found 71 percent of voters think “the government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational use.”The Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for drug policy reform, cited the poll on Twitter in a reaction to Spicer’s statement. Of the more than 1,300 voters polled, 59 percent said marijuana should be legal in the U.S. Notably, Republicans opposed widespread legalization 61 percent to 35 percent. Some in the cannabis industry see the federal reversal as a contradiction of the administration’s stated positions on states' rights and job creation. “To have Mr. Spicer say in one sentence that they’re a states' rights administration and in the very next sentence say they’re going to crack down ... it just defies logic,” said Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, an organization that lobbies for pot-friendly changes to drug-related legislation. The industry is also an abundant source of revenue, according to Patrece Bryan, president of Cannabrand, a pot-focused marketing company. New Frontier Data says the cannabis industry will create more than 283,000 jobs by 2020.“This is absurd. For a president who ran under the banner of job creation, he actually needs to start looking at where the jobs are being created,” she said. “With Colorado generating $1.8 billion over a 10-month period, this is America’s new agriculture. Why would we take this revenue away from our country?”The Drug Policy Alliance echoed Bryan’s point, noting that eliminating part of the legal cannabis market would mean “wiping out tax-paying jobs and eliminating billions of dollars in taxes.”Still, not everyone was frantic about Spicer’s comments. The tacit endorsement of medical pot use was comforting, said Allen St. Pierre, a partner at Strategic Alternative Investments, which focuses on marijuana. Ian Eisenberg, founder of Seattle-based pot retailer Uncle Ike’s, was also sanguine.“After the feds learn how well regulated Washington’s adult use and medical cannabis markets are, they will leave it status quo,” he said. From July 2014 to April 2016, the state reportedly collected close to $200 million in tax revenue on cannabis.Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, where pot is legal, said he was assured before Sessions’s confirmation that there would be no drastic changes to federal policy. “That was the take-away from my conversation with Jeff,” Gardner said. “It’s not a priority of the Trump administration.”Other politicians in states where recreational use is allowed said they will act to protect the industry. “These comments leave doubt and uncertainty for the marijuana industry, stifling job growth in our state,” said Democratic Representative Jared Polis of Colorado. Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said his state’s attorney general “must make it immediately clear that he will vigorously defend Nevada’s recreational marijuana laws from federal overreach.”Given the size and growth trajectory of the industry, entrepreneurs are not going to shut their doors without a fight, warns Troy Dayton, CEO of Arcview, a cannabis market research company.“People don’t respond well to having freedom taken away,” Dayton said. Source: (USA)Author: Jennifer Kaplan and Polly MosendzPublished: February 24, 2017Copyright: 2017 Bloomberg L.P.Contact: cpalmeri1 bloomberg.netWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 26, 2017 at 10:53:07 PT
I agree with you!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 25, 2017 at 18:53:10 PT
Unfortunately, the republican weasels do not care about life. In terms of class warfare, they have won--fund$ will be directed towards the wealthy, and they will enjoy defunding the lower classes. When I say they will enjoy screwing over people, understand that the moral compass was always broke, but now it's in power. 
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on February 25, 2017 at 10:49:19 PT
I've done this several times! Must be the medicine......>>Aaargh.
Completely the wrong thread.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 25, 2017 at 06:28:00 PT
I have a friend who is HIV Positive and her pills cost a small fortune a month like $2500 and she lives on SSDI. If they take away Ohio's Medicaid expansion I don't know what she would do.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 25, 2017 at 06:20:27 PT
No problem. If you want to copy and paste this on the other thread go ahead and I can delete this one.
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 25, 2017 at 05:57:56 PT
This is stupid because
Another mistake, and warning for everyone, in the land of the stupids.From article: "This is stupid because it's so out in the open and transparent. It makes Trump look weak, petty, sensitive and guilty." proof of their agenda:
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on February 24, 2017 at 19:55:12 PT
Me thinks...
I posted this on the wrong thread.Aaargh.Completely the wrong thread.Sorry.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on February 24, 2017 at 19:53:26 PT
Dear BGreen. It's so good to hear your
encouraging words. Vincent, we all understand your frustration, negative attitude, and anger. We understand your outrage. At least three people among us that I know of have lost children to suffering that could have been eased some with cannabis. There is a lot of outrage. We have some standard to try to keep ourselves and this site out of more trouble than we already have. We have a plan. We don't want it to be more bloody or deadly than it already is. It has nothing to do with not understanding your anger.All your comments are comforting, and once again, the pain of all this is some bit easier knowing that we aren't alone and there are like minds out there. And that none of us plan on signing off tonight and saying, Well that's that...No, the prohibitionists are as bad as ever and many of them are no closer to the truth than they ever were. It's like trying to reason with freaking zombies. They can't hear or see us. There's nobody home in their brains.Here we are still, and once again, it's time to ask Trump and any henchmen that are after the cannabis user.... Why? Why are you willing to bring harm to people over this unjust law? Why are you willing to kill or risk your life to keep people from enjoying or finding benefit in the plant? Why? There is not one good, sane, logical, sensible reason for your prohibition and it's harshness.Explain it to us and the great danger you are fighting and maybe we will help you instead of trying to stop you.Why? What is the answer?You prohibitionists can't keep doing this without giving a lot better reason than any reason you've given so far.We can't just ask anymore. We have to demand an answer. Why do you feel so strongly that people should be punished over the use of the cannabis plant?What is wrong with you that you see what you are doing as moral and consuming a plant is immoral? You have to tell us why, if you want to keep doing it and keep taking our earnings to pay for it.Why? For humanity's sake!Why?It better be a good reason! A really good reason!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 24, 2017 at 18:38:40 PT
These are the strangest of times. Every morning I wake up and turn on MSNBC and wonder what Trump did now.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on February 24, 2017 at 17:23:09 PT
I woke up this morning....
and fired up the vaporizer. Strange....I didn't feel "rattled" or panicked at all. I did notice that it's 73 degrees today - the first time in my entire life the temperature in New England has gone above 70 degrees in February. Gee, could the purpose of the Trump reality show be to distract everyone while the oil companies destroy the atmosphere and oceans with burnt carbon??? hmmmmm......
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on February 24, 2017 at 14:14:15 PT
Because Sean Spicer is biased towards marijuana and/or science and empirical evidence?The science tells us that in states with medical marijuana, opiod use is down. The empirical evidence and science also tells us that in states where marijuana/cannabis is legal, alcohol use is down, including drunk driving.Does Trump share Mr.s Spicer's biased opinion?Does Trump believe in science and quantifiable facts?Can we please have a reality based, pragmatic and democratic approach to all of this?We should not give up the progress we've made so far. Look at all the positive experiences in Portugal, the Netherlands and soon, Canada!Let's not go backwards, please!
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