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California’s Lagunitas brewery creates cannabis-infused IPA

Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, food and drink companies have been turning to weed for ideas. From pot oil to pot ice cream, plans to sell marijuana-laced items have taken off.

Now it’s alcohol’s turn to get in on the action.

A MCDONALD’S KIOSK SOLD THIS PERSON AN EMPTY BAG

Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, CA, has teamed up with vape cartridge manufacturer, CannaCraft, for a limited-edition canna-collaboration.

The SuperCritical IPA, which launched this month, is made with marijuana terpenes – fragrant oils that give each strain of cannabis its unique aroma. The strain Lagunitas chose for this special brew is a mix of Blue Dream and Girl Scout Cookies.

The cannabis collection is then brewed with Yakima hops to create the 6.6. ABV IPA.

Though cannabis is a prime ingredient, the drinker won’t experience anything other than an alcohol buzz because terpenes contain no THC. Instead, the additive provides an unusual tasting profile, described as earthy with “hints of pine and citrus.”

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Beer aficionados will have to be quick to try out this newest concoction. The beer is only available for limited release in its home state of California.

There are no immediate plans for a nationwide release, but the brewery has sent samples of SuperCritical to beer critics around the country. 

Marissa JenkinsCalifornia’s Lagunitas brewery creates cannabis-infused IPA
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The Iconic Hollywood Sign Got A Dope Makeover For The New Year

The iconic Hollywood sign looks a little different in 2017. 

Los Angeles residents awoke on New Year’s Day to find the 94-year-old sign on the side of Mount Lee had been altered overnight to read “Hollyweed.” 

A lone individual changed the sign overnight, Sgt. Guy Juneau of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Security Services division told the LA Times on Sunday; the incident, which the LAPD called the work of a prankster or a “thrill seeker,” will be investigated as misdemeanor trespassing.

Security footage indicates the sign was changed around midnight on Saturday, but the LAPD has no suspects. It has been changed a number of times over the years in different ways.

This time, the letters in the sign were altered by hanging tarps over the original two O’s  similar to the way the sign was changed back on Jan. 1, 1976, when a Cal State Northridge student draped curtains over the letters to herald the state’s newly relaxed marijuana laws.

(California voted to legalize recreational marijuana during November’s election. Recreational use is legal now, but portions of the law regarding taxation and licensing aren’t set to go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018.)

Danny Finegood, the art student who altered the sign in ‘76, doctored the sign to make political statements at least three other times before his death in 2007.

According to his obituary in the LA Times, Finegood also changed the sign to read “Holywood” for Easter in 1976; to “Ollywood” in 1987 during the Iran-Contra hearings in protest of then-Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, who sold arms to Iran; and to “Oil War” in 1990 to protest the Persian Gulf War. 

“For a long time, he had this idea that if you just changed the two O’s you could change the whole meaning of the sign,” his wife, Bonnie, said following his death. 

Finegood had long objected to characterizing his actions as “vandalism,” arguing that he did not create lasting damage or permanent alterations to the sign, and he relented when a security fence was later installed.

Marissa JenkinsThe Iconic Hollywood Sign Got A Dope Makeover For The New Year
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Meet the “Weed Nuns” of California

Located close to the town of Merced in the Central Valley, which generates over half of the fruit, nuts and vegetables grown in the country, the Sisters of the Valley grow and reap their very own cannabis plants.

However, despite the moniker, the sisterhood stresses that its seven members don’t belong to any order of the Catholic Church.

“We are against religion, so we are not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices,” said Sister Kate, who founded the sisterhood in 2014.

The group says its Holy Trinity is the marijuana plant, specifically hemp, a form of marijuana which has really low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in the plant which gives a high.

The hemp is turned by members into cannabis-based balms and ointments, which they say have the ability to enhance health and well-being.

More than two dozen U.S. states have legalized some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but the drug remains illegal at the federal level. California legalized recreational use of marijuana in November 2016.

“A sister becomes a sister through a commercial relationship and making a wage or a commission and we want to grow this way because we want to free the girls, we don’t want to make them more dependent,” said Kate.

She said the group had approximately $750,000 in sales last year, the most since it began selling products in January 2015.

President Donald Trump’s administration and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime critic of marijuana legalization, have stressed some in the nation’s nascent legalized marijuana industry.

But the “weed nuns” say the new administration has reinforced their resolve.

“The thing Trump has done for us is set a fire under our butts to get started in another country,” said Kate. “Our response to Trump is Canada.” The group sells online to Canada, and expects to start an operation there in two months.

Sister Kate embraced the nun persona after she took part in a Occupy Wall Street demonstration in 2011 dressed as a Catholic nun, a look that led her to be well known by protesters as “Sister Occupy.” According to her they have receive a number of hate calls. However, according to her, “the Catholics understand what we’re doing.”

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420 Celebrations Around the Country: The Biggest Day for Marijuana

It feels like Christmas for the country’s legal marijuana stores today. Not only Christmas but all other holidays rolled in to one one smoky party known as 420.

April 20 has for a long time been a day full of civil disobedience by marijuana users, who assemble in public to light up weed at 4:20 p.m. The phrase “420” is a longtime code for marijuana users, who work it into dating profiles or post it on signs to show their common interest. But while it used to be a celebration held using a particular degree of furtiveness, the swiftly growing legalization of cannabis means an increasing number of Americans no longer face critical, if any, punishment for smoking weed.

All states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana also have prohibited public consumption, but those rules in many cases are dismissed on April 20, when crowds assemble on college campuses and central parks to light up. That means huge sales days for shops, particularly in states with operating marijuana marketplaces: Washington, Oregon and Colorado, which could see single-day 420 sales of $20 million.

One of Colorado’s largest marijuana stores, the Medicine Man, anticipated to see more than double the regular number of customers each day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Legalization activists usually stage stunts along with the 420 celebrations.

In Washington, D.C., for example, activists are planning to give out 1,000 marijuana cigarettes to Capitol Hill workers and members of Congress, and then hold a mass “smoke-in” on the Capitol steps Monday. They’re attempting to convince Congress to reauthorize a law prohibiting federal prosecutors from interfering with state-level medical marijuana programs and are also seeking clarity on the way in which the Trump administration will approach voter-approved recreational weed.

While the District of Columbia’s voters have approved recreational marijuana, Congress has prohibited the district from creating any kind of system to allow taxable sales.

In Washington state, marijuana sales are anticipated to easily top last year’s quantity of $4.8 million from April 20, 2016. And the 2016 numbers themselves represented a staggering 200% increase over 2015. According to New Frontier, making a year-to-year comparisons of marijuana sales is challenging since the industry is very fresh and growing so rapidly and because people frequently celebrate 420 on the weekend closest to it, as opposed to the actual day.

But for a lot of customers, there’s an undeniable appeal to say that they purchased legal marijuana for that special day. In Colorado’s cannabis shops, the demand was evident Wednesday: lines snaking through receptions and guards accumulating cash as harried workers raced to complete orders. Many hotels in Denver are sold out, and cannabis tourists were pouring into the state for free concerts and then a gigantic rally outside the Statehouse.

In Nevada, which recently legalized recreational marijuana, even if they still only have stores for medical marijuana, business was likewise expected to be lively.

In Oakland, Calif, marijuana-infused sweets manufacturer Kiva made 60,000 special-edition samples of the company’s low-dose Petra mints and plans to hold 55 sampling occasions around the state this week. And in Tulare County, Calif.’s, only dispensary, Canna Can Help, workers have purchased 1,000 tacos for their planned customer appreciation day this weekend.

Back inside the Medicine Man in Denver, first-time cannabis tourists pronounced themselves astounded at the available variety and choices. Grams of popular forms were selling for $17 plus tax, and like many shops, Medicine Man was offering 420 specials intended for tourists, including pre-rolled joints.

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California Governor’s Proposal To Make Starting A Marijuana Business Easier

Gov. Jerry Brown disclosed a proposal last week to simplify statewide rules that regulate medical and recreational marijuana sales and production, in anticipation of the launching of the recreational cannabis industry in California in 2018. The proposal, if approved by the Legislature, would allow it to be simpler to take up a marijuana business in the Golden State.

“Brown’s administration has designed a tight, extensive regulatory framework that protects consumers, workers, public health, the environment and small business stakeholders, while ensuring an inclusionary framework that opens up access for individuals with low income and communities of color,” Lynne Lyman, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement.

Under the proposal, only state licenses would be required for marijuana businesses, unless local municipalities choose to require local licenses as well. State licenses wouldn’t be accessible to entrepreneurs who want to set up shop in municipalities where marijuana businesses are prohibited.

Measure M, which was put on the ballot by the City Council was recently approved by Los Angeles voters. It lets the city to issue local licenses for marijuana businesses.

“L.A. can decide to do its own licensing,” DPA staff attorney Jolene Forman says. “It’s simply not mandated.”

Advocates had been concerned that the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), passed by the state Legislature in 2015, would put all of the dispensaries in Los Angeles out of business because it required local licenses — something City Hall didn’t allow — by January 1. Measure M mended that issue. But now, it might not be a problem.

The governor’s proposal also favored the licensing of smaller “microbusinesses” by streamlining the permitting process to guarantee a more comprehensive collection of would-be marijuana entrepreneurs to have a chance to get in on the green rush.

“Somebody could grow small amounts of marijuana, process in small quantities and sell it in their very own retail store,” Forman says. “This decreases barriers to entry for smaller businesses. It’d likewise enable more diversity in the market.”

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR), which controls medical and recreational marijuana, would get a name change to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, spokesman Alex Traviso said via e-mail.

A group of local marijuana businesses which has lobbied City Hall to legalize marijuana delivery, appeared reasonably pleased with the governor’s proposal.

“We’re carefully reviewing the proposal but applaud the state for proposing much-needed reconciliations between medical and recreational laws,” said task force director Ruben Honig. “L.A.’s cannabis industry is one of the world’s biggest, and we must have a system that’s clear, streamlined and enables businesses and patients to flourish.”

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World’s First Ever Marijuana Gym is Opening in San Francisco California

A San Francisco fitness center slated to open this fall will motivate customers to use weed as part of their fitness routine.

Power Plant Fitness customers are going to have the choice to bring their own cannabis or order edibles, the gym’s preferable kind of cannabis, while they’re at the fitness center. Desired edibles will be brought by a delivery service to the fitness center within 15 minutes after customers place orders, said owner Jim McAlpine. Adult-use, recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it can be sold exclusively by dispensaries. Using marijuana in public is prohibited. The fitness center is going to have designated space for those inhaling pot.

The gym, which advertises itself as the world’s first cannabis fitness center, touts using the drug for meditation, focus and pain.

McAlpine, who’s already hosting Power Plant boot camps, wants people understand this isn’t going to be “a stoner gym.” The focus is still on fitness even if cannabis use is welcome.

“For the people that it affects the right way that was right, cannabis can make working out fun,” McAlpine said. “If you make it more fun, people are going to do it more.”

McAlpine said cannabis helps him control his weight and focus during workouts. But, he said this isn’t the situation for everybody.

When customers join the gym, McAlpine said they’ll undergo a cannabis performance evaluation. That means staff will evaluate customers during a sober workout as well as a workout after using cannabis.

McAlpine, who also founded the 420 Games, said he expects at least half of the customers won’t be an excellent fit for cannabis-influenced workouts.

“This isn’t something where we’re telling somebody to do this,” McAlpine said. “It’s an option to consider.”

Dr. Marc J. Romano, director of medical services at Delphi Behavioral Health in Florida, said people could feel more relaxed when using and working out. The World Anti-Doping Agency actually mentions research saying cannabis can give an edge to athletes by reducing stress, enabling users to perform better under pressure.

“If your awareness cognition is in any way impaired, you might be a risk to those around you,” Romano said.

Dr. Sue Sisley, who has ran FDA-approved clinical trails on cannabis and recently served on a panel at SXSW with McAlpine, said physicians have to be cynical.

“We’ve never been subjected to the concept of cannabis as medicine,” Sisley said. “We’ve been systematically misled.”

“Bottom line is the plant is really benign,” she said. “It has a very mild side effect profile. It’s far less toxic than many of the prescriptions I write every day.”

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Actor Patrick Stewart Supports Oxford University’s Marijuana Research Program

The program will analyze the function of cannabis medications in treating pain, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

It follows calls from some MPs for legalization of cannabis on medical reasons, with such calls being backed by 58 per cent this past year.

In the last few years, studies have supported the medical value of cannabis for treating ailments for example multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and arthritis, and for coping with nerve pain.

The new program is a partnership between Kingsley Capital Partners and Oxford University, who are investing £10m an attempt to create an international center of excellence in cannabinoid research.

Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at Oxford, Ahmed Ahmed, said studies had began to make exciting biological discoveries, which might lead to new treatments for a host of different ailments.

“This area holds great promise for developing innovative therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients,” he said.

The program has received uncommon support – from actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who uses medical marijuana to treat ortho-arthritis.

He told the Telegraph: “Two years ago, in Los Angeles I was examined by a physician and given a note which gave me legal permission to buy, from a registered outlet, cannabis-based products, which I was advised might help the ortho-arthritis in both my hands.”

Routine usage of an ointment and chewy bar had enabled him to sleep through the night, while spraying his hands during the day had brought back mobility in his hands, he said, allowing him to make fists.

“As an outcome of this experience, I enthusiastically support the Oxford University Cannabis Research Plan,” he said.

The actor said he expected the research would help him and millions of others.

“This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that’s for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance.”

Now neither the Conservative nor Labour Party officially supports legalizing cannabis for medical use. Both Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have called for legalization for medical use for a while.

Sativex – a prescription-only drug used by patients afflicted by Multiple Sclerosis – is the sole licensed cannabis-based product in the Britain and is given to help facilitate muscle spasms. Nonetheless it’s doesn’t cause a high and is non-psychoactive.

NHS rationing bodies have rejected its use saying it was too costly to justify.

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Opportunities in Marijuana Stocks in California


In November, Californians overwhelmingly voted to adopt pro-weed laws that clear the way toward creating the United States’ largest recreational marijuana|cannabis market.

First, let’s look back
Medical marijuana legalization was initiated by California in the 1990s, but it’s been slower to support laws that open up the recreational marijuana market.

In 2010, California’s Proposition 19 fell on deaf ears when 53.5% of voters elected against passing it. Proposition 19 would’ve enabled Californian adults over age 21 to possess up to 1 oz of marijuana for personal consumption, and to grow marijuana in a space of up to 25 square feet, if it was passed.

While yielding significant tax revenue at the time, supporters applauded Proposition 19 for its potential to help stop the drug war with Mexico. A minimum of one report indicated that if passed, Proposition 19 could’ve saved $200 million on law enforcement expenses and added $1.2 billion per annum in tax revenue.

Despite those arguments, the opposition managed to convince the majority of voters that those tax receipts and savings were overstated.

Getting it done
The recreational market has shifted significantly since the failure in 2010 of Proposition 19. Washington and Colorado passed recreational marijuana laws in the year 2012, and they were joined in 2014 by Oregon and Alaska.

Thus far, legalization in those states has been a success, especially when it comes to raising tax revenue.

For instance, marijuana sales eclipsed $1 billion in Colorado this past year, as well as the state reports it accumulated $17.7 million in marijuana taxes, fees, and permits in November 2016 alone.

With other states having taken the lead on passing recreational marijuana laws, and support for legalization growing nationwide, pro-pot advocates faced a less rocky road to success this past November.

All in all, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 64, passed by a vote of 57.13% for and 42.87% against, and that means that Californians can now possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana, and grow up to six plants.

The law also sets up a procedure for licensing dispensaries that could sell marijuana and marijuana goods, plus it gives California the right to impose fees and collect taxes on marijuana.

Overall, the recognized medical marijuana production and distribution infrastructure in California should allow for a fast ramp in recreational marijuana revenue. The Emerald Triangle region in California is regarded to be the biggest place for cannabis production in the U.S., and there are already more than 900 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the state.

Matt Karnes, founder of GreenWave Advisors, LLC, estimates that the state’s marijuana market could increase from about $2.8 billion in 2017 to $5.8 billion in 2018, when the recreational market is totally up and running. Karnes additionally forecasts that California’s recreational marijuana market will develop quickly, rising to $7.7 billion in 2021.

Marijuana Stock Investments
The possibility for a more than doubling in marijuana sales in California over the following five years has a lot of investors hunting for stocks which could reap the benefits of it.

Regrettably, the marijuana market remains dominated by small-scale players with limited market share, and consequently, most publicly traded marijuana stocks trade on unregulated over-the-counter markets which are ready for fraud. Furthermore, because these companies are reinvesting heavily in their businesses, most of these companies are unprofitable.

Since the industry faces risks linked with uncertainty at the federal level, investors also need to be cautious. Federally, marijuana remains illegal, and also the appointment of legalization adversary Jeff Sessions as attorney general does little to assuage concern of a federal crackdown.

As a consequence, those people who are really interested in investing marijuana stocks are left with few choices. They could {put money into Canadian marijuana stocks that also trade in the U.S., or they can invest in drug companies attempting to develop treatments that are derived from cannabis’ chemical cannabinoids.

Canopy Growth Corp and Aphria, Inc. are two Canadian companies worthy of thought; however, both companies are investing heavily in their businesses, and therefore, could have irregular profit increase over the forthcoming years. Investors also already amply value them.

For instance, Canopy Growth is a leader in the medical marijuana market in Canada, also it’s inked an advertising deal with marijuana icon Snoop Dog that might help accelerate sales. But, earnings stays less than $10 million per quarter, and its particular market cap is already near $1 billion.

Aphria’s narrative is similar. The company’s knee-deep in expanding production, but nonetheless, it merely brought in $0.01 Canadian per share last quarter on just CA$4.4 million in sales. Yet, it is being valued at approximately a half billion dollars.

Switching gears, GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys Therapeutics are a couple of the most investment-worthy marijuana drug makers, but just GW Pharmaceuticals shares may make sense to purchase right now.

This past year, results from three trials of GW Pharmaceuticals’ purified cannabidiol (CBD), Epidiolex, revealed it can reduce monthly seizures in patients with tough-to-treat forms of epilepsy by about 40%. Following those results, this year, GW Pharmaceuticals intends to file Epidiolex for FDA approval. In the event it is approved by the FDA, Epidiolex could become a nine-figure top-seller someday.

Insys Therapeutics’ story is not as convincing. While Insys gained FDA approval to market a brand new formulation of the long-standing THC drug Marinol in 2016, it’s yet to receive DEA scheduling for the drug. Additionally, Insys Therapeutics’ management is embroiled in a lengthy investigation of possibly prohibited sales and marketing practices for its opioid spray, Subsys. Until those investigations wrap up, Insys Therapeutics is a high-risk stock to purchase.

Overall, the acceptance of recreational marijuana in California should provide important new opportunities for marijuana companies, but this market is in the very early innings, and that makes investing in it is rather risky.

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Strict Regulations, Choking The Marijuana Industry?

California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use in November, and now regulators are hard at work formulating the new rules and fees to be imposed.

There is apparently some significant uncertainty, however, as to whether the regulations will soon be ready to go by next year, when the other regulations and the brand new licensing system for the sale of marijuana are supposed to go into effect.

“Being blunt, there’s absolutely no way in which the state of California can meet all of the deadlines before we go live on January 1, 2018,” state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who represents several Northern California counties in prime marijuana-growing country, told the Sacramento Bee. “We’re assembling the regulatory system for a multi-billion-dollar industry from scratch.”

There’s good reason behind doubt. After all, though voters passed Proposition 215 to legalize medical marijuana|cannabis back in 1996, the Legislature didn’t set up the first all-inclusive state licensing system until 2015.

And also the state has an extensive list of regulatory schemes to implement. Along with the licensing system, it’s going to developing regulations covering everything from taxation to growing to testing to advertising to packaging to distribution to delivery to tracking products from production to sale, and likely considerably more.

The state has been developing regulations since 2015, though, plus it can draw upon the examples of several other states that have legalized recreational marijuana. It should also learn from their mistakes, and among the largest blunders has been to tax and regulate marijuana at excessive manner.

In a recent column for Reason.com, J.D. Tuccille explains how the black market for recreational marijuana in Colorado has continued to flourish despite legalization due to excessive state and local taxes and expensive regulatory requirements. This has pushed the legal market price for marijuana about 33% higher compared to the black market price in Denver, based on a PBS report. In a nutshell, Tuccille maintains,“taxes are so high and regulations so burdensome that they make legal marijuana uncompetitive.”

This ruins one of of the main advantages of legalization: removing quality control, the crime and other issues due to the black market.

The risk is that California is apparently ignoring fundamental economics and heading down precisely the same course. Under Proposition 64, a 15% retail excise tax will be imposed by California on both medical and recreational marijuana products. Additionally, there are growing taxes on each ounce of dried marijuana blossoms and leaves. In addition to these, and state and local sales taxes, which average about 8%, are charged on non-medical products.

And that doesn’t even account for the regulatory fees, which Prop. 64 requires licensing bureaus to charge in order to cover their regulatory costs.

It really is an extremely welcome development that we will no longer be locking up individuals at taxpayers expense and ruining families and career prospects for the victimless crime of putting a substance like marijuana into one’s own body, but a lot of public safety and economic problem will stay if the state cannot resist the impulse to impose so many burdensome taxes and regulations that it chokes off the legal market and perpetuates the black market.

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The Future Of Legal Marijuana Under New Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The confirmation of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as the next attorney general introduces the biggest challenge to legalized recreational marijuana to date. The former federal prosecutor’s view about shifting social attitudes toward weed is clear, with Sessions saying last year that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington deciding that marijuana is not the thing that ought to be legalized,” he said in April 2016 at the Caucus on International Narcotics Control. “This drug is dangerous. You cannot play with it. It’s not funny.”

Spokane attorney Frank Cikutovich, who has represented a number of the best profile local defendants in federal marijuana crackdowns, said he takes Sessions at his word.

“He’s of the view that it’s no good, it’s the devil drug,” Cikutovich said. “He could not be more clear about what his position is. Regrettably, he’s got the power to say from this moment. We will begin enforcing the federal law to the letter.”

And that could put everyone involved in the production and sale of marijuana in federal legal difficulty.

Some 56 percent of Washington state voters approved an initiative decriminalizing marijuana in the year 2012 and permitting a closely regulated marketplace.

In the past few years since, business has boomed.

Spokane County marijuana retailers licensed by the state sold $74.1 million worth of legal pot in 2016, according to records released by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Those sales generated $27.5 million in taxes collected by the state.

Washington and Colorado in 2012 passed the first laws in the country that permitted recreational use of marijuana, although sales didn’t star in the Evergreen State until 2014. That list now includes California, Oregon, Alaska as well as the District of Columbia. This past November, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts passed similar laws and 28 states have legalized the usage of medical marijuana.

On the other hand, the state-by-state move to legalize marijuana consistently has worked under an uneasy understanding with federal authorities. U.S. law still considers marijuana an illegal narcotic on level with methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin.

The industry propagate after 2013 when the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memorandum declaring that it wouldn’t challenge states on marijuana legalization as long as they put in place safeguards to keep the drug out of the hands of minors and criminals.

Without federal government intervention, marijuana businesses have boomed. A recent report from ArcView Market Research, a cannabis industry research group, called that national sales of legal marijuana could approach $22 billion by 2020. That would mean marijuana sales would outpace revenue generated from the National Football League.

Sam Calvert, founder and owner of Greenstar Cannabis on Division Street, was clearly one of the very first shops to open in Spokane County in 2014. He said he thinks the industry has too much momentum for the brand new administration to quickly dismantle it.

“If (Sessions) does decide to take an aggressive approach, terminate the specific situation through federal enforcement, they’re going to wind up in court,” he said. It doesn’t play into my decision-making right now. I consider it on the peripheral.”

Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt, who also has defended several marijuana cases in Eastern Washington, called that “wishful thinking.”

“They can’t believe it’s going to be taken away. But I’ve seen it before,” Hiatt said. “The law is crystal clear and we’ve run out of arguments.”

Because Washington’s strict regulations require scrupulous records for folks who grow, warehouse and sell the legal marijuana, federal prosecutors would have all the evidence they need to shut down the industry and prosecute those business owners.

And many shops sell enough marijuana merchandises that are enough to place owners in danger of severe criminal punishments, including 10-year mandatory minimum sentences in federal penitentiary.

“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel,” Hiatt said. “If people think they can’t roll this thing up, then they have another thing coming.”

‘An ever-changing determination’

During his confirmation hearings last month, Sessions was asked whether he’d continue to permit states to run under the Cole memo, which basically said the federal government would look the other way on marijuana in the states.

“If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as attorney general,I will certainly review and evaluate those policies, including the original justifications for the memorandum, as well as any relevant data and how circumstances have changed or how they may change in the future,” he wrote.

Nonetheless, he noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and he is dedicated to uphold the law “with respect to marijuana, even though the precise equilibrium of enforcement priorities is an ever-changing determination predicated on the circumstances and the resources available at the time,” he wrote.

That’s a softer position than Sessions once held.

30 years ago, Sessions said that he believed the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot,” according to testimony given to Congress when he was nominated to be a federal judge.

He afterwards said he was joking, however he stays among the sharpest critics of what he considers the dismantling of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign of the 1980s.

Last April, Session said, “Colorado was one of the leading states that began the movement to suggest that marijuana isn’t dangerous. And we’re going to find it, in my opinion, ripple throughout the whole American citizenry. And we’re going to see more marijuana use and it’s not definitely going to be great.”

A group empaneled to counsel Sessions as well as the Trump administration on the marijuana problem comprises 14 prosecutors named by the National District Attorney’s Association. One of them is District Attorney Stan Garnett in Boulder, Colorado.

At their very first meeting, a number of the district attorneys wanted to send letters to governors of states which have approved medical marijuana, telling them to shut those businesses down within 90 days, Garnett told the Boulder Daily Camera last week.

Garnett said he counseled his fellow prosecutors against that move, saying it failed to honor the significance of state and local control.

“I believed that was a particularly unrealistic and ill-advised notion,” Garnett told the Daily Camera. “Legalization has been mainly successful everywhere it’s been tried, therefore it will be a highly unpopular move and difficult to accomplish successfully.”

‘Marijuana to go back underground?’

Individual users would have little to be worried about in the event the federal government takes a brand new, hard line on marijuana enforcement, Cikutovich said.

“The government doesn’t have the resources to go after millions of people,” he said. “But the people in the industry need to be very concerned. They have to be ready to parachute out of the industry immediately if it changes.”

A federal enforcement agent, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said he wouldn’t anticipate immediate raids in the event the Trump administration decides to go after the marijuana industry.

In 2011, local federal authorities cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries by sending them as well as their landlords letters warning of future legal action if they continued. Four of those businesses continued as well as their owners were indicted.

Sessions “may have huge issues with marijuana, and he may share that,” the law enforcement source said. “But how he would then change the enforcement priorities of the department is purely speculative at this point.”

Seattle lawyer Jeffrey Steinborn, who like Cikutovich and Hiatt has worked for many years to defend marijuana clients, said the success of the industry may be its best defense. And legal marijuana’s best ally could possibl be President Trump, who said during the campaign that marijuana legalization should be left to the states.

“I really believe we should study Colorado and see what’s happening,” Trump told a crowd on Oct. 29, 2015. “I think in terms of marijuana and legalization, it should be a state issue, state by state.”

But if Sessions convinces his boss to turn back the clock to the drug wars of the Reagan era, the industry will adapt, Steinborn said.

“Marijuana can go back underground in the blink of an eye,” he said. “And it will if it has to, because it ain’t going away.”

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