shutterstock_538990978President-elect Donald Trump will take the Oval Office on Friday, January 20th. Until that happens, though, you might understandably be wondering how Trump is poised to respond to the recent spate of states deciding to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use. More States Going Green  California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts were the latest states deciding to go green and fully legalize marijuana. Each of these states did so on November 8th. In fact, over two dozen states and even the District of Columbia have laws on the books that partly or completely legalize marijuana. Some states have chosen to legalize marijuana with few strings attached while other states like Illinois and New York have decided to allow legalized medical marijuana for conditions like chronic pain and glaucoma. This is all to say that right now the current law of the land is a bit of a patchwork. Technically speaking cannabis is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance federally under the Controlled Substances Act. The Drug Enforcement Agency classes marijuana with other drugs that it claims to have no currently accepted medical use and also possess a high abuse potential. The problem is that millions of people and thousands of studies cast doubt on both of those claims. Another complication is the fact that there’s a gray area in the law since you have a potential conflict between state law and federal law in states, like those mentioned above, that have decided to partly or completely legalize marijuana. Cannabis Leaders Cautiously Optimistic  President-elect Donald Trump is something of an unknown entity since he’s the only incoming president who’s neither held previous political office nor served in the military in any capacity. As it happened, though, Wall Street welcomed news of Trump with a bang since Trump has promised to create more jobs in America and remove the shackles from industries perceived to have too many onerous regulations. When cannabis thought leaders were asked about Trump’s potential impact on the burgeoning marijuana industry, they responded in a mostly positive way to the incoming  administration. Because Trump has stated his intention to chip away at needless regulation, respect states’ rights, and stand squarely with U.S. businesses, there are some reasons to believe Trump will be good for the $5 billion cannabis industry. The reason that this cautious optimism hasn’t evolved into full-blown mania over a business-friendly Trump presidency is that there are a few unknowns in the equation. One of the biggest is the incoming attorney general recently appointed by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions. While Trump has promised to stand firmly by U.S. businesses and respect states’ rights, Jeff Sessions would theoretically have the ability to rescind two important Justice Department directives related to marijuana (e.g., the cannabis-friendly Cole and Ogden memos). Having said that, cannabis insiders expect Trump’s willingness to protect U.S. jobs and foster growth to win out. The multi-billion dollar marijuana industry in America creates jobs and produces growth – two things high on the president-elect’s agenda!

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