When Trump was sworn into office, many people in the marijuana industry wondered what would happen under the new administration. The marijuana industry is on track to be a $21 billion business by 2021, and a crackdown on the industry could cost the economy billions of dollars and close thousands of businesses. While his promises on the campaign trail looked positive for the medical marijuana industry, some are worried about his apparent willingness to back away from his earlier promises. With the appointment of the known marijuana critic Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, the future of the marijuana industry is even less certain. The effect of Trump’s presidency on the marijuana industry can take several paths. Learn more about the possible scenarios for the marijuana industry under Trump’s administration.
Prosecute Medical and Recreational Marijuana
Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. States have taken it upon themselves to pass laws that legalize medical or recreational marijuana at the state level, but there are no real protections for the marijuana industry at the federal level. The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana growers and dispensaries, but it is a small amount of protection for the rapidly growing industry.
Prosecute Recreational Marijuana Only
It can be difficult for small businesses to protect themselves against a federal crackdown on recreational use marijuana. Adult use retailers may see a rise of raids if this were the option taken by the Trump administration. It is likely that states will fight back if this comes to pass, but retailers could be in danger while the issue is fought in court.
Preventing New State Markets
While many states have passed laws about the use of recreational or medical marijuana use, there are also many who have not. It is possible that the Trump administration may place pressure on these states, should they decide to move towards legalizing marijuana for either medical or personal use. There may also be an intentionally vague stance taken towards cannabis legalization, which may cause states to stall their plans to legalize until lawmakers see what will happen.
Nothing Will Change
It is possible that the Cole Memo will be allowed to remain and that nothing will change when it comes to the legalization of the marijuana industry. The marijuana and hemp industries will be allowed to function as they are, and states will have access to a new form of revenue to help pay for government services, should the federal government scale back their support of services. States may even gain more independence with the new source of income to support infrastructure development and services.
Open Support of Marijuana Legalization
It is also possible that the Trump administration will openly support and encourage the legalization of marijuana and the growth of the industry. The marijuana industry is growing and providing hundreds of thousands of job across the country. If the business-minded administration supports the industry, there may be a new product for export, more jobs, and the growth of a new industry that can help strengthen the economy.
The future of the marijuana industry and the legalization of medical marijuana is still uncertain, but many in the industry believe that it is likely that the Trump administration will maintain the status quo and won’t make a move to block or encourage the growth of the marijuana industry. There may be small changes to extend the Rohrabacher-Farr protections to other states, but it is unlikely that there will be any large-scale, coordinated effort to suppress the legalization of marijuana.
Our Pennsylvania medical marijuana attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of those involved in the medical marijuana industry, including growers, dispensaries, and patients. Sacks Weston LLC has been a devoted supporter of the legalization of medical marijuana.
Contact our offices today for a free consultation.