Cannabis Businesses Respond to Obama’s SCOTUS Nominee

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After President Barack Obama announced his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, a number of marijuana industry executives and stakeholders weighed in, saying Judge Merrick Garland looked like a positive choice for the cannabis trade.

Several focused on a statement Garland reportedly made in 2012, when he suggested that federal judges should rely on the opinions of scientists when evaluating scientific matters. That attitude could extend to cannabis, several executives said.

“While we can’t say for certain how he will be on the Bench if his nomination is accepted, Garland appears to be a safe choice from the cannabis industry perspective,” said Green Lion Partners President Jeffrey Zucker in a statement. “Although he hasn’t been a champion of the issue, it’s good to know that he has an open mind to listen to the scientists that actually understand how the plant’s chemical compounds interact with the human body.”

Derek Peterson, the CEO of Terra Tech, agreed.

“It will be nice to have a voice that relies on the science rather than unfounded preconceived notions based on reefer-madness and propaganda,” Peterson said in the same statement.

And CalCann Holdings partner Aaron Herzberg noted that the next justice could greatly affect the marijuana industry if the court chooses to take up the lawsuit from Oklahoma and Nebraska that targets Colorado’s recreational cannabis law.

“(Garland) was previously part of a three-judge panel that denied a request to reschedule marijuana from (Schedule I) to a lower class- but although he denied that request he made remarks that scientists and not judges or the government should decide whether marijuana should be reclassified,” Herzberg said.