Cannabis Business and the Sanctuary States

A few states have taken the idea from immigration and considering the offer to provide sanctuary status for the licensed pot businesses. This stance, it is hoped, will protect the nascent industry from choppy federal enforcement policies. The first shot towards the federal government was fired by Jesse Arreguin, the Mayor of Berkeley, California. He asked Ben Bartlett, a city councilman, to step into his office after Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, announced that federal prosecutors would have a free hand to punish cannabis operators when and where they want to.

Federal and state

Session's announcement made a 2013 policy allowing legal cannabis to be null and void. The older statute restricted the drug's federal enforcement, as long as the states themselves stopped it from entering places where it was outlawed. The states also kept an eagle eye on stopping the drug from getting on to the hands of children and criminals. The announcement by the US Attorney General frightened the industry. It also led to the hesitation of people what wanted to invest in legal cannabis. As per Federal law, cannabis continues to be an illegal substance.

Arreguin asked whether Berkeley could be made a city which will offer sanctuary on immigration. The metropolis is not new to being in the first of anything. It was the first American city to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. City officials do not cooperate with federal authorities. The councilman agreed and Berkeley became the first city for cannabis sanctuary as well. It is now increasingly becoming clear that others will follow Berkeley's path. Lawmakers from Massachusetts, Alaska, and California are waiting with similar bills, just waiting for them to be passed.

No way out

According to insiders in the cannabis industry, enforcement of cannabis laws can be best be described as uneven. The problem is that everybody is afraid of a government takedown and this destroys the morale of everyone concerned.

Representative Adam Wool from Alaska said that he introduced the bill as both precaution and statement. As an owner of a concert venue which has a liquor license, movie, and a restaurant, he knows the ramifications of Sessions' move. He said that if the federal government wants to prosecute anyone for breaking any federal law, it can easily do that. He pointed out that federal government can do what it wants, but Alaska has no responsibility to help them.

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