Cannabis-friendly states want meeting with US attorney general

California, Oregon and other states where marijuana is legal are seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in hopes of resolving the conflict between federal and state laws that has left the nation’s cannabis industry in legal limbo.

State treasurers from California, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania told Sessions in a letter Thursday that businesses and banks need greater clarity on how federal law enforcement will respond to the growing legalization trend.

Sessions revoked an Obama-era policy in January that kept federal authorities from cracking down on cannabis businesses in states where the drug is legal.

The letter, released by California Treasurer John Chiang, said the absence of those federal rules “leaves the industry and financial institutions in the dark.”

A shortage of banking services in California’s emerging cannabis industry is seen as a major obstacle to developing a thriving, regulated marketplace.

According to the letter, also signed by several cannabis industry groups and the Maine Credit Union League, financial institutions need “some comfort that they will not be prosecuted, or lose access to customer assets, simply for banking this industry.”

Congress this month extended restrictions that prevent the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in states with legal marijuana industries.

– Associated Press

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