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U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who less than a year ago stunned the marijuana industry by ripping up Obama-era protections for state-legal MJ businesses, has been forced out by President Trump.
The development could ease industry concerns that the Department of Justice will unleash a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses – though much will depend on whom Trump picks as Sessions’ permanent replacement.
Sessions said his resignation came at the president’s request.
Trump announced in a tweet that Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney in Iowa, will serve as acting attorney general. Whitaker had served as Sessions’ chief of staff.
It’s not immediately clear how Sessions’ removal will affect the Trump administration’s attitude toward state-legal marijuana businesses.
“The only substantive impact of Sessions’ resignation is diminishing concerns of raids on adult-use marijuana-related businesses,” cannabis attorney Steve Schain said.
“The Sessions resignation doesn’t really move the needle” on reform, Schain added, noting that will be up to Congress.
Sessions had taken a relatively hands-off approach toward state-legal marijuana markets.
In January, he rescinded the Cole Memo, which was part of an Obama-era policy that essentially left legal marijuana programs across the nation alone.
Cannabis industry officials initially feared that Sessions-led federal prosecutors might crack down on state-legal MJ companies. But such enforcement didn’t materialize.
(This is a developing story and will be updated.)
Thank you Marijuana Business Daily for keeping us up to date on this development -Editor