What Federal Changes Mean for Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program


They had closed down several hundred before Congress intervened with budget restrictions that halted the lawsuits - one of them targeting Harborside Health Center in Oakland, the nation's largest licensed cannabis dispensary - as well as most federal criminal prosecutions. They are surrounded by attorneys who have spent their careers arguing federal cases before judges who can make their displeasure with a USA attorney known in sentencing decisions and in the scheduling of cases.

That reversed the election campaign stance by President Donald Trump favoring state marijuana laws, and set up a potential clash with the six U.S. states that have already moved ahead to legalize pot sales.

If agreement is not reached on the overall bill by that date, the government will shut down.

Congress voted in its last session to extend a spending provision known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which blocks the Justice Department from using federal funds to impede the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

A total of five businesses are licensed to cultivate, manufacture and sell marijuana products for medicinal purposes in New York, according to the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association. That environment will not change because of a memo from the attorney general, Little said.

Obama-era guidance gave low priority to prosecutions of medical marijuana dispensing under state law. "We believe USA attorneys' offices should be opened up to bring all of these cases that are necessary to be brought".

Robert Troyer, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado and the man who decides how to enforce federal cannabis laws here, issued a statement shortly after Sessions issued his memo, saying that his office had already been operating under the principles Sessions outlined, and would continue focusing on the "greatest safety threats to our communities around the state".

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States and localities - not federal prosecutors - would be responsible for low-level pot dealing and use, one of Cole's memos said.

Marijuana has never been legal under federal law, and it still isn't.

The marijuana landscape has shifted dramatically since those memos, the latest of which was authored in 2013.

Sessions' move sends a message to federal officials throughout the country that prosecuting people under federal law for using marijuana in states that have legalized marijuana is no problem. Legalization has given a shot in the arm to the industry, attracting investors looking to cash in on the green-rush scramble. And while Sessions' memo does not instruct federal prosecutors to bring more marijuana cases, he could order stricter enforcement in the future.

"Jeff Sessions' obsession with marijuana prohibition defies logic, threatens successful state-level reforms, and flies in the face of widespread public support for legalization", said Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group. He later became a career state and federal prosecutor who has spoken favorably of a previous federal marijuana crackdown.

Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Brooks DeBow rejected the companies' contention that the law enabling medical marijuana production in the state meant to restrict the number of companies to five. "You need to double down on compliance, be a good neighbor, pay your taxes, and that should keep you out of the crosshairs with the federal government", he says. She just wants the federal government to refrain, selectively, from enforcing those laws.


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