New uncertainty tonight about the future of California’s brand new marijuana industry. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he will crackdown on marijuana in all states, even the ones where the state has legalized the drug. With the decision by the attorney general there is a lot of uncertainty right now. Will California’s marijuana industry leaders end up here in federal court? It would be a huge impact to what’s projected to be a billion dollar industry in the state.
A renewed effort to enforce federal marijuana laws in all states encourages Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
“For local law enforcement agencies and especially local jurisdictions who have banned commercial sales to have federal partners to help with prosecutions,” said Mims.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer saw this coming.
“I had a meeting with Attorney General Sessions several months ago as a part of Major City Chiefs. It was very clear to me at that time there was going to be more of a federal involvement,” said Dyer.
But even law enforcement isn’t sure what’s next.
“Will the Drug Enforcement Administration be actively pursuing these individuals that are involved in legalized distribution of marijuana in these states to include California? If so, what amount?,” Dyer asked.
Former federal judge Oliver Wanger says federal agents can shut it all down.
“They could obtain in federal courts injunctions against the operation, they could close those grow sites, the stores, or whatever marketing, or whatever marketing vehicle is used they could shut all that down and they could criminally prosecute,” said Wanger.
The City of Hanford plans to host commercial marijuana grows. Marijuana industry expert Randi Knott was a part of those talks. When asked if she believes marijuana grows might be raided in the coming months she had this to say.
“I wouldn’t think so. Having been in government affairs for over 20 years I would be quite surprised if the federal government decided to use its limited resources at this point or that the State of California would allow that to happen,” said Knott.
Federal officials have not made it clear if they will be going after legal marijuana grows, marijuana shops, or if there will be more marijuana prosecution here in the State of California. Until then, California’s marijuana industry will push on.