But state lawmakers are fighting to protect the industry's rights.
The abrupt announcement by Sessions was the latest example of sudden actions by the Trump administration that have blind-sided its own government agencies on major policy shifts.
"Really what we're going to need is some robust discussion between the federal officials and the state officials", says Chief John Carmichael, who's on the Cannabis Advisory Board. More than 10,000 Pennsylvanians have notified the state that they would like to get medical marijuana.
Analysts say the amendment must be renewed each time federal spending laws are signed, the next of which is to occur on January 19.
After that statement was issued, a bank that processes medical marijuana transactions in many MA and Rhode Island dispensaries chose to pull out of the cannabis market. That's part of the city's strategy in forbidding commercial cannabis sales other than for medical purposes and tightening rules on personal production and use as much as possible under California's new recreational marijuana laws.
Polis has been a longtime advocate for updating federal marijuana policy.
Local pot shops are preparing for a crackdown on federal drug agents despite the legalization of recreational marijuana. However, U.S. attorney Bob Troyer, Colorado's top federal prosecutor, said his office won't alter its approach to enforcing marijuana crimes in the state that became the first to sell marijuana for recreational use after voters there approved it in 2012. The Obama administration preferred to duck a fight with state governments, while the Trump administration seems to be courting one.
A state can have any law it wants with regard to marijuana. The people passed medical marijuana; they did not adopt recreational use, and I do not believe they would.
Eight states, including MA, have legalized recreational marijuana use and MA has had medical marijuana use since 2012.
Sessions denies that he's a racist, but, whether he pays attention or not, the federal marijuana law he desires so zealously to enforce has decidedly racist roots and a racially skewed impact.
The study estimates that about 25 percent of the marijuana market will continue to be illicit, and will shrink if the legal marketplace is not overly taxed or expensive.
The feds also risk political backlash from cash-strapped states that expect, or have come to rely on, cannabis-based revenue.
Last year, Sessions sent me and the governor a lengthy letter that demonstrated a troubling ignorance regarding Washington's marijuana laws and the legal framework we spent five years fine-tuning. African-Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for pot possession than whites, according to university-reviewed studies by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, even though their usage rates are similar. The primary argument for keeping marijuana illegal is that it is harmful.
In fact, there is a good deal of evidence that marijuana is significantly less harmful than tobacco or alcohol and that it has benefits in treating some medical conditions, such as glaucoma and seizure disorders, and alleviating some of the ill effects of chemotherapy. In the three states where adult use has been legal for the longest period of time - Colorado, Washington and OR - there had been a combined total of $1.3 billion in tax receipts, according to the study. The nominees, announced on Monday, January 8, include four potential assistant attorneys general in Virginia and Maryland, as well as a US marshal position in Alabama.