Cannabis Business Alliance Statement:

Department of Justice rescinds all marijuana policies, jeopardizing a legal cannabis industry that removes power from drug cartels while creating safety measures and supporting economic growth 

DENVER (January 4, 2018)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  has released a statement on the United States Department of Justice’s decision to rescind all previously issued Department guidance concerning marijuana policy, including the Cole Memo, which has significantly limited which charges prosecutors can pursue in states where marijuana is legal.

“Eliminating the protection of states’ rights threatens a safe, regulated, taxable industry with professionally produced, lab-tested products and will push the entire industry back into the black market,” said Kevin Gallagher, Executive Director, Cannabis Business Alliance.  “Since Amendment 64 passed in 2012, Colorado has witnessed a wealth of positive affects; our economy is thriving, unemployment is the lowest it has been in four decades and cannabis education in our school systems has contributed to a decline in teen use. Policy makers and legislators in new and emerging markets count on Colorado as an established leader for regulatory framework. The legal cannabis industry removes the money and power from the hands of drug cartels and puts funds directly into state coffers.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance applauds Senator Cory Gardner and Senator Michael Bennett who have respectively taken action to address to concerns of Coloradans and cannabis industry professionals.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.): “Reports that the Justice Department will rescind their current policy on legal marijuana enforcement are extremely alarming. Before I voted to confirm Attorney General Sessions, he assured me that marijuana would not be a priority for this Administration. Today’s action directly contradicts what I was told, and I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation. In 2016, President Trump said marijuana legalization should be left up to the states and I agree.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.): “In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, and will create unnecessary chaos and confusion.”

Gallagher continued: “The repeal of these policies is a complete infringement on states’ rights. President Trump made his position clear throughout his campaign when he stated that marijuana policy should ‘absolutely’ be left to the states. We can only hope that federal prosecutors will share his position and allow states to continue developing their own marijuana laws. This is a huge step backwards for cannabis prohibition and especially for the business owners who have gone about this the right way, following the rules and help to establish a respected regulatory framework for legalizing marijuana. Now is the time to come together and voice our concerns loud enough for the Department of Justice to reconsider.”

Public support for legalizing marijuana has reached a record high, according to a recent Gallup Poll which found two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing cannabis. Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12 percent supported legalization. In 2017, 64 percent of Americans support legalization.

The Cannabis Business Alliance encourages all cannabis business owners and industry professionals to contact their local representatives today.

Colorado has one of the country’s fastest growing economies, due in part to the legalization of marijuana. Colorado marijuana tax revenues greatly exceed original estimates of $70 million per year. Collections of $56 million in 2014 grew to $113 million in 2015. In 2016, the state reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales with over $200 million collected in tax revenue. Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of community programs and services, funding everything from school construction and public health and law enforcement to substance abuse prevention and fighting homelessness. As of January 2017, more than 23,000 people in Colorado have full-time jobs because of the legalized marijuana industry, and Colorado’s unemployment rate has consistently posted at around 2.3 percent, often ranking the lowest in the country, and the lowest rate in Colorado since at least 1976.

For more information, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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