US prosecutor in Colorado signals no change in stance toward marijuana businesses

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.

The top federal prosecutor in Colorado indicated his office is unlikely to make any major changes in its enforcement stance toward legal marijuana businesses operating across the state.

U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer of the District of Colorado said his office’s policies already mesh with those outlined Thursday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions – and that he will continue to target MJ businesses that pose a threat to public safety.

“The United States Attorney’s Office in Colorado has already been guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions — focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state,” Troyer said in a statement.

“We will, consistent with the Attorney General’s latest guidance, continue to take this approach in all of our work with our law enforcement partners throughout Colorado.”

Sessions announced Thursday that the Justice Department would abandon the Obama-era Cole memo that allowed the cannabis industry to operate in states across America.

Sessions’ new stance will instead allow U.S. prosecutors in the 30 states and the District of Columbia with legal marijuana laws to decide how aggressively to enforce longstanding federal law prohibiting the sale and cultivation of the plant.

In his statement, Troyer said the Sessions announcement simply “directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that have long governed all of our prosecution decisions.”