President Elect Donald Trump selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has repeatedly sued the agency to block anti-pollution laws. While this might be seen as support for states’ rights — and by extension the marijuana industry — Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls Pruitt “ one of the phoniest federalists in the GOP.”
In particular, Pruitt joined Nebraska in suing Colorado over the state’s REC industry. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John F. Kelly, opposes legalization saying that it increases health care costs and crime, and that the state experiments with it open the U.S. to accusations of hypocrisy from Latin American nations. Kelly is open to the plant having medical benefits.
It also emerged that Jim O’Neill, a Silicon Valley investor who Marijuana.com describes as a “ Marijuana legalization activist,” could be tapped to lead the Food and Drug Administration. O’Neill is neither a doctor or scientist, typical credentials for the position. For more see here.
Marijuana entrepreneurs want Trump to see them as “ job creators,” Forbes reports.
The New York Observer, which is owned by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, called for rescheduling.
What attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) means for state-legal pot business remains the big green question. In an in-depth piece, Politico says Sessions could easily “ ignore the will of millions of pro-pot voters” and crack down. Time lists seven reasons Trump is unlikely to go after the industry.
The Sessions hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 10 and 11.
Pro-cannabis group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is petitioning the Justice Department to correct what ASA says is incorrect or misleading information about cannabis on the DEA web site. ASA is represented pro-bono by the major San Francisco law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Canadian producer Cronos Group will work with First Nations groups in Canada to help them join the cannabis economy.
An upcoming March ballot measure for regulating the industry in Los Angeles raises many questions.
A Democratic state Senator in Texas introduced a “longshot” MED bill. Virginia Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R), asked for a study of how the state’s cannabis laws might be changed.Tennessee could also be in play.
Oregon took emergency steps to lower the testing burden on growers, but the industry is skeptical.
REC opponents in Maine were accused of not providing enough volunteers for a recount of the recent vote. A judge ruled that following the recent vote, MED dispensaries in Montana can reopen immediately.