In wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ repeal of Obama era guidance on legal marijuana, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is usually more worried about the marijuana business than he is usually about a law enforcement crackdown on weed.
“When we see an industry, that will is usually dependent upon investors, people who are putting their hard-earned money into the industry, This particular sort of move does not help whatsoever,” Hancock, a Democrat, said Friday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “All This particular move does is usually demonstrate how out of step the attorney general sessions is usually as well as the administration is usually with the rest of the country.”
Sessions, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, on Thursday moved to rescind the Cole Memo, a document which de-prioritized the use of federal funds to enforce cannabis prohibition. The memo effectively handed control of marijuana enforcement as well as regulation to the states, except in certain circumstances.
Sessions’ decisionsent pot stocks tumbling Thursday, fueling fears that will could damage burgeoning marijuana industries in many states.
“We’ve already had conversations with our attorney general, as well as our acting U.S. attorney, who clearly have said they’re not going to change anything with regards to the industry here in Colorado,” Hanckock said.
Colorado, where recreational cannabis has been legal since 2012 as well as medical for much longer, incorporates a lot more to lose than some states. In 2016, the state topped $1 billion in legal weed revenues, allowing the government to bring in more than $193 million in fees as well as tax revenues, according to Department of Revenue data.
Hancock said Denver reaps about $18 million to $20 million in tax revenue just by recreational marijuana. that will money goes toward implementing marijuana regulation, including inspections, law enforcement as well as public education, all of which Hancock worries might disappear following Sessions’ decision.
“Cities also fall into This particular uncertain category, when you contain the attorney general acting as irresponsible as he has acted with regards to the memo,” Hancock said.
Investment as well as taxes aside, the ground-level industry is usually very cash heavy. Even with the Cole Memo, banks as well as credit unions operating under federal charters had little incentive to help cannabis businesses, which are still federally illegal, according to a representative by the Colorado Bankers Association.
“What we could wish our attorney general could do to work with Congress, begin the process of working on a pathway to banking with This particular industry,” Hancock said.
Hancock is usually part of a growing chorus of prominent voices against Sessions’ decision. On Thursday, Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner vowed to hold up Justice Department nominations until Sessions alterations his marijuana policy.