TRENTON, N.J., Feb. 10, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — With the confirmation and swearing in of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, those in the cannabis industry are more than a little concerned. AG Sessions, while a U.S. Senator, made several insulting and contrary statements regarding cannabis to include his now famous, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” comment.
“Of course people in the legal cannabis industry are more than a little concerned about the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” said Scott Rudder, President of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association. “He has shown, as a sitting U.S. Senator, his hostility towards the cannabis industry as well as those that rely on cannabis for its medical benefits. That being said, after re-reading some of his statements and President Trump’s earlier statements regarding legal cannabis, I am taking the position of cautious optimism.”
Rudder pointed to several important comments from both President Donald Trump as well as Sessions himself. Specifically, President Trump, while still candidate Trump, stated on Fox News with regard to medical cannabis, “I’m in favor of it a hundred percent.“ And he previously stated his position on adult-use of cannabis by saying, “I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.”
“I believe President Trump’s position prompted AG Sessions to take a softer position than he might otherwise have taken during his confirmation hearing,” Rudder stated. “Most cannabis industry observers were hoping for something unequivocal from Sessions. He did not provide that comfort level. But he did indicate that he would not apply his limited resources to pursue legally operating cannabis businesses. There are significant issues that the Trump Administration is going to tackle and I do not believe legal cannabis will be one of them.”
That being said, Rudder added, “We cannot and will not take anything for granted. We need to remind our elected leaders that a legally operating cannabis industry has created a positive impact in the areas where it is allowed to conduct business. Whether we are talking about patient care, civil justice or jobs created, a legal and regulated cannabis market has a positive impact. And remember, drug dealers don’t card, dispensary operators do.”