By Kieran Lasater and
SPARKMAN + FOOTE
Those in the marijuana industry are not strangers to navigating legal gray areas, but the Trump administration’s appointment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a notorious marijuana prohibitionist, has given pause to even seasoned marijuana businesses.
Despite medical marijuana being decriminalized or otherwise legalized in 28 states with eight states and the District of Columbia permitting both medical and recreational marijuana, the drug remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, along with drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.
Under federal law, marijuana has no medical value and cannot be consumed, cultivated, possessed, sold or otherwise transported. Despite years of efforts, attempts to reclassify marijuana at the federal level have uniformly failed.
President Obama’s administration expressly focused federal law enforcement efforts on eight priorities for states with robust marijuana regulatory systems, as announced in the “Cole Memo” on August 29, 2013. The so-called “Great Eight” included: