AG’s letter to Oregon governor highlights illicit marijuana sector

Following similar letters to two other governors, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown noting that her state’s legal marijuana businesses haven’t slowed the illicit marijuana market.

Sessions was responding to an April letter from Brown and the governors of Colorado, Washington state and Alaska that asked the Justice and Treasury departments to maintain the position on cannabis they held under the Obama administration, the Denver Post reported. The four governors’ states all have legal marijuana laws.

The letter to Brown was comparable to the ones he sent to Colorado and Washington’s governors but also included information from an Oregon state police report, the newspaper reported.

According to the state police, Oregon’s regulatory scheme has allowed “an effective means to launder cannabis products and proceeds” – a violation of the Cole Memo. Sessions wrote that the findings raise “serious questions” about Oregon’s ability to comply with the Cole Memo, the Post reported.

The attorney general’s letters to the three governors – all dated July 24 – are yet another warning that Sessions remains a threat to legal marijuana businesses. The letters also come after a task force commissioned by Sessions recommended the Justice Department continue its current approach to the cannabis industry.