Previously, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented that the Trump administration plans to crack down on legalized Cannabis. The Justice Department, head by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reiterated his unfriendly Cannabis stance. Sessions did note that Medical Marijuana would not be targeted by officials but that he would review current policies.
It did not take long for state officials to respond. Washington, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, California, and others vowed to fight any federal crackdown of legalized recreational Cannabis in their states. Cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, but with the addition of a “Cannabis Caucus” to Congress, that may change.
State-compliant Medical Marijuana companies are exempt from federal charges due to the Cole memo Amendment which prevents the Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending allocated funds to target those Medical Marijuana organizations. However, no provision exists to protect compliant recreational organizations.
Times are changing, though. From a Quinnipiac poll, 71% of respondents (across all political parties and age groups) opposed the DOJ from enforcing the federal prohibition of legalized medical and recreational Cannabis. Trump indicated during his campaign that he was fine with medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs and is a fan of states exercising their own rights in terms of passing laws.
Mark Malone, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance was quoted as saying that a crackdown on compliant businesses would damage the states. The Cannabis industry has been a job creator and a source of welcomed tax revenue. Additionally, if recreational operations are stopped; it could possibly create a ripple effect that could impact patients’ access to Medical Cannabis.
There are a couple of ways that the DOJ could target the industry. Companies could have charges brought on them on a case-by-case basis or the DOJ could challenge the validity of state laws under the Controlled Substances Act. While the federal government ‘trumps’ state government, it could create another Constitutionally-rooted argument for states’ rights.
Cannabis and CBD manufacturers looking to proactively pre-empt any regulatory pains should learn more about Electronic Batch Record software and other compliance solutions from InstantGMP, Inc. Our software and solutions provide the necessary frameworks for compliance. Learn more about our solutions and sign up for a live demo where we’ll show you how our software reinforces the workflows necessary for compliance.