Jeff Sessions War on Marijuana Hasn’t Frightened Cannabis Entrepreneurs

Cannabis leaf scattered on the dollars. Seamless image

Investors and Business Owners in the Cannabis Industry Aren’t Frightened by Jeff Sessions Efforts to Prevent Marijuana Decriminalization

Contrary to the expectations of many, the Attorney General’s move to recommence unrestrained federal enforcement of cannabis laws hasn’t affected the performance of the marijuana industry so far. Instead, it has inadvertently shown how deep-rooted this industry has become

Jeff Sessions, the man behind all troubles facing potheads and Cannabis entrepreneurs in the U.S recently, announced a deferment of the Obama-regime Cole memo. This memo offered states official pardon from federal intrusion regarding state marijuana laws.

The A.G’s declaration messed up the party for California that was then four days old since she decriminalized of both medical and recreational use on Jan 1, 2018. Sessions, in opposition to all scientific evidence, affirmed that “Cannabis is a harmful drug and… marijuana activity is a federal crime.”

Naturally, the attorney general’s move scared a handful of investors considering the now growing pot industry. But here’s why the remaining majority should put in more resources and finances in the U.S. Marijuana business.

Bipartisan Reaction

Trump’s admin made a lot of debatable decisions in the first year, most times, going unquestioned by congressional Republicans. But this time, Sessions must have rubbed most of them the wrong way— he’s triggered a bipartisan rebuke.

Advocates from all states that have decriminalized weed, particularly Colorado and California have joined forces with Democratic leaders to express their shock at the news. Even some Republican legislators are joining the resistance claiming the A.G’s plan to rescind the Cole Memo directly contradicted his promises when he took the oath of office, and those Trumps made to the people when contesting for the presidency.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado) said that this is not what Donald Trump promised Colorado in 2016 and that the repeal is unlawful. Plus, it puts millions of revenue and very many jobs at risk.

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) however thought that though the Cole memo suspension is in disagreement with Trump’s statement, it may force Congress to stop ignoring the fact that they need to find a long-standing solution for weed-legal states.

Lack of Financial Backing and incentives to enforce

Sessions repeal of the Cole memo revokes the Department of Justice’s previous regulation on cannabis. In doing so, he pushed federal prosecutors to decide on a legal course of action in marijuana-legal states; and they may as well choose not to nothing.

The Executive Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, Matthew Schweich said that states are no longer willing to help the federal government impose harmful cannabis policies anymore. Most states are now ready to legalize pot for adults.

Legal experts have higher priorities to take care of than handle some new weed cases. Plus, prosecutors have limited resources to press charges against lawfully operating Marijuana companies and consumers.

Medical discoveries and realities

Scientific evidence has proven beyond any doubts the many medicinal uses of marijuana. As a result, we expect this to increase consumer demand for weed products in spite of the ongoing political threats. For instance, Florida is experiencing noteworthy consumer growth since it legalized medical marijuana.


Legalized Recreational Marijuana | What Are the New Regulations?

imgresEven if Jeff Session’s won’t give up his battle against decriminalization of recreational cannabis, at least the year set off with some good news for California. As of January 1, the state had legalized marijuana. Currently adults, 21 and above, can lawfully buy recreational marijuana in California. How about this for a change? You can nowadays fearlessly march into a dispensary or even have the pot delivered to your apartment without feeling paranoid.

Market experts keeping an eye on the cannabis industry have spotted it as an ever-growing enterprise. Soon, the likes of Sessions will lay down arms, especially now that it’s being embraced by many other areas like fitness and healthcare to culinary experiences. And now, we can only expect other states to join the weed party.

So far, six states have decriminalized pot and Massachusetts will soon join the group come July 2018. But the drug still has some restrictions to look out for; so before you light some pot, know what’s right! Confirm what you can and cannot do according to the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA).

You don’t need a card to buy pot at a dispensary

The only official requirement is a legal government-issued ID showing you’re 21 or above. However, bear in mind that regulations vary by state— each has the right to lay down local rules governing cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana.

You pay tax when you buy the weed

The only exceptions are those with state-certified medical cards, which shouldn’t be confused with the medical recommendation from marijuana doctors. Every time you buy, you pay sales tax and use tax on top of your local tax.

Sorry, you still can’t smoke or carry cannabis anywhere you want!

It is still not legal to use your cannabis in public areas, as well as within 1,000 ft of an education or youth center. However, this nearness-to-children rule doesn’t apply if you’re baking your pot in a private house and the smell isn’t detectable. Plus, you can’t also drive while high drive or have an unsealed/open package of pot in your vehicle (unless kept on the car trunk).

Lastly, crossing state borders or flying with pot will expose you to a “possession of controlled substance’ lawsuit.

How much weed can be legally carried around?

Over 21s can carry 28.5g or an ounce of marijuana in flower forms. Or 8.0g of concentrate in oil, dabs or hash.

You can grow your marijuana, but with LIMITS!

Legally, you can grow up to 6 plants at a go on your private property. Growing is prohibited in open backyards if you reside near public spaces. It’s also illegal to sell or distribute your harvest.

In conclusion

The above laws apply to most if not all states, apart from a few tweaks each county can legally make to ensure further control of pot.


Why Government Shutdown May Trigger Crackdown on Marijuana Dealers

unnamedDec 13th will mark the last day of funding for the State Government.  Similarly, time is running out for the law that’s been preventing the Justice Department from meddling with the federal medical marijuana laws.  So unless legislators ratify an extension on this deadline, laws protecting Marijuana Sales will be no more.

Remember, DEA agents won’t be relieved of their duties and will act as watchdogs for the  Department of Justice which may take advantage of the this opportunity and use it to enforce state marijuana prohibition whenever it feels like regardless of federal Laws.

This means the U.S. Attorney General Mr. Jeff Sessions who’s been against decriminalization for a long time would get a lawful go-ahead ( for the first time since he assumed office in Feb)  to order the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and state prosecutors to conduct a crack down on medical pot patients and dispensary owners.

According to the Department of Justice, all DEA agents are “excepted” from vacation because they play a significant role in counternarcotics investigations. The Justice Department’s Government shutdown contingency plan insists that DEA investigations should carry on uninterrupted to ensure ongoing cases remain uncompromised and the safety and well-being of Americans is not put at risk.

And the same applies for state prosecutors. The shutdown plan points out that as appointees of the President, U.S. Attorneys are also “excepted” from furlough. As a result, all employees that are not subject to rest should address urgent ongoing criminal and civil concerns throughout the country.

The medical marijuana budget proviso was first passed into law in 2014, and since then, it has been extended for every successive budget year. In May 2017, Mr. Sessions wrote to congress leaders requesting them not to carry on with the medical pot rider to next year.  In his letter, the Attorney general stressed the need to allow the Justice Department the green light to use all applicable federal laws to fight dangerous drug organizations and traffickers who endanger the lives of innocent American citizens.

Wrapping Up

These heated debates are enough proof that the government shutdown which is now set to occur could leave medical marijuana dealers in the hands of cruel law enforcers.


Recreational Marijuana Continues to Thrive Over the Medical Industry

Recreational MarijuanaIt seems like medical marijuana cards are no longer the key to purchasing and enjoying weed in Oregon.

The recreational marijuana industry is taking over rendering the cards less valuable compared to the past when they meant everything. These days they only matter as “discount cards” but are not necessarily a requirement for buying and possessing pot. The advantage with a medical marijuana card is that it saves you the hefty state and local cannabis taxes charged on recreational marijuana. As a result, medical weed dealers are experiencing a drop in their daily sales.

According to Sam Elkington of Track Town Collective, a dispensary in Glenwood, the sales had plummeted to as low as $58 on Monday afternoon— the main reason Elkington is unable to employ other staff at the store. He added that of all potential buyers that walk into his small store, only 3 to 4 come for medical marijuana, the other 15 to 20 are potheads looking for recreational pot which the law still prohibits him from selling.

And as a smart entrepreneur, Elkington is willing to embrace the evolution of the cannabis market in Oregon. That’s why he plans to switch from the medical marijuana business to the currently booming recreational pot industry. This would mean cancelling his status as a medical cannabis dispensary with the Oregon Health Authority and applying with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission as recreational weed seller.

More medical pot dealers to go Recreational

Nowadays, Medical pot cardholders have the freedom to buy marijuana either at a medical store or at a recreational shop. This has worsened the playing field for medical marijuana dealers and rendered them financially indefensible.

It’s no wonder 5 out of the 21 medical pot license holders have given notice to the state on their plan to give up medical marijuana licenses and apply as recreational weed sellers with the OLCC. According to Jonathan Modie, Spokesman at Oregon Health Authority, only four license holders showed signs of staying put as medical marijuana dealers.

Wrapping Up

The recreational cannabis industry has always been a gold mine back from the days when it was underground. And now that it has been decriminalized (in some states) we expect to see significant changes in the market.


Denver-Based Cannabis Company Debuts Airport PSA, Leave Pot at Home

MarijuanaA Denver-based company, Organa Brands, has created the first-ever public services announcement in airport terminals concerning cannabis. One of the largest legal cannabis brands in the country, Organa Brands premiered their ad campaign last month on branded trays at security checkpoints of a major airport in Southern California. The goal of this campaign is to remind passengers about the serious legal repercussions involved in taking cannabis aboard a plane. The PSA reads, “Cannabis is legal, traveling with it is not. Leave in California.”

These branded trays are the ones used for stashing shoes, cell phones, wallets and other personal items just before walking through security. For the next twelve months, the trays will appear at Ontario Airport (just outside Los Angeles, California), and are expected to generate around 15 million impressions.

Co-founder of Organa Brands, Jeremy Heidl, is very optimistic about this campaign. “Anytime we can normalize cannabis, I think it’s a good thing”, he says. “I’m still pinching myself a week into this. It’s just unbelievable to me that the TSA was able to sign off on this campaign.”

The timing of these new “Cannabis is Legal” ads directly relates to marijuana laws in California. After years of use under medical marijuana laws, recreational cannabis will also be legal in California starting January 1, 2018.

Heidl explained to The Points Guy, “We have long known that California is about to become the biggest recreational cannabis market in the world, and as [one of] the largest brands in the space, we feel a real responsibility to educate consumers. There’s obvious confusion surrounding cannabis laws — even the TSA at times has been confused as to these policies.”

It is easy to see why there might be some confusion. In most cases, TSA and airport security officials have done very little to inform the public on what is legal and what is not when it comes to bringing cannabis to the airport. In addition, the TSA is a federal agency; the government is still hostile towards marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration still categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I substance – just as dangerous as cocaine – with no accepted medical use. These ads are possible because, while the TSA draws the line at political ads, it does not regulate advertising messages that appear in the strays that go through X-ray machines. The hope is that Organa Brand’s ads will clear up the confusion shared by many states where pot is legal.

President and CEO of SecurityPoint Media, Joseph T. Ambrefe, Jr., says, “I think this is an example of a company with a good educational message to drive dialogue, and also educate travelers whether you’re a California resident or visiting the state.”

Is your business trying to prepare for the California recreational marijuana in the coming year? Consider partnering with an alternative lender like Marijuana Merchant Account. Business owners can quickly secure the business funding and payment processing solutions they need to smoothly and securely operate. Have a strong start to 2018 and seize the many opportunities the new year will bring.