Trump makes second anti-cannabis cabinet pick

Be at the forefront of cannabis and psychedelics science and innovation. Register by March 14 & Save $100 on tickets to The Emerald Conference by MJBiz Science, April 1-3 in San Diego.

President-elect Donald Trump has made a second anti-marijuana appointment to his cabinet, selecting Rep. Tom Price from Georgia to serve as Health and Human Services secretary.

At the federal level, the HHS doesn’t regulate marijuana. That’s left to the Justice Department, but the HHS secretary can control the availability of cannabis in states that have legalized adult-use or medical marijuana, according to the Washington Post.

The newspaper noted the department could penalize physicians or sue sellers who work with MMJ in states where it’s legal. Cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

Price is staunchly anti-cannabis, according to the Post. He’s repeatedly voted against marijuana policy reform in the House of Representatives, and has opposed:

  • A measure that would have prevented the Justice Department from intruding on states with recreational cannabis laws.
  • Amendments that would have prevented the Justice Department from opposing states with medical marijuana laws.
  • A measure that would have allowed doctors from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend MMJ to vets.

The Price appointment follows Trump’s selection of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Sessions is decidedly anti-marijuana, and his appointment has triggered alarm bells in the cannabis industry.

On a related note, outgoing President Barack Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone published on Tuesday that marijuana should be considered a public-health issue along the lines of tobacco or alcohol.