AG Jeff Sessions demurs on federal marijuana crackdown

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday declined to say whether the Department of Justice is planning any sort of cannabis crackdown or prosecution of state-licensed marijuana businesses and instead left open the door for future federal law enforcement actions against the MJ industry.

“I can’t comment on the existence of an investigation at this time,” Sessions told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, The Cannabist reported.

Hewitt had suggested that the DOJ could prosecute marijuana companies under federal racketeering statutes, which could conceivably start a domino effect and close down the entire industry.

Sessions, however, said he doubted such a strategy would work, according to The Cannabist.

But he emphasized that “federal laws clearly are in effect in all 50 states. And we will do our best to enforce the laws as we’re required to do so.”

Just what shape such enforcement may take is still very murky.

Sessions has indicated tepid support for the 2013 Cole Memo – upon which the U.S. recreational cannabis industry is based – but has also repeatedly demonized cannabis in general and has attempted to undercut federal protections for state-permitted medical cannabis businesses.