If U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decides to impose a lethal crackdown on legal marijuana states, industry leaders believe it would be catastrophic to Colorado’s economic prosperity.
During a recent interview with the Denver Channel, Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said any decision by the Trump administration to launch a full-scale war against the legal cannabis industry would “cause a recession,” sending tens of thousands of Colorado workers to the unemployment line.
With the state now generating in upwards of $1 billion a year in legal marijuana sales, she said federal interference would have nothing less than devastating consequences.
“The economics of this are huge in Colorado,” Kelly said. “There is a billion-dollar economic impact in Colorado, which is directly attributable or affiliated with the cannabis industry, so that equates to 20,000 people licensed in trade.”
Ever since President Trump announced that Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions—a man who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana”—was his pick for the next attorney general of the United States, the bulk of the cannabis industry has been in a nail-biting panic. This anxiety swelled to greater heights last week when the Republican-dominated Senate confirmed Sessions for the job. After all, our new AG has yet to say exactly what he plans to do with respect to legal weed.
Sessions, who has given the Obama administration a stern tongue lashing for taking a “hands off approach” to legal marijuana, told a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing that he would “not commit to never enforcing federal law.” Some people interpreted his statement as not having any dangerous implications, while it led others to believe the entire scope of the marijuana movement was on the verge of being put down like a bad dog.
Some analysts predict the legal cannabis industry will swell into a $50 billion market within the next decade, which is the reason some members of the legal pot scene believe they are untouchable.
“I fully expect Sessions to do the job he has accepted,” Tony Alfiere, president of Colorado cannabis extract company Quigley’s, told High Times. “The very idea that the AG of the United States of America would allow himself or be allowed to trample on the rules that govern our nation is laughable.”
“Once this media hysteria dies down and the man is allowed to do his job, we will see the cannabis industry is here to stay,” he added.
However, policy experts say anyone who believes “money” will prevent Trump’s law enforcement hammer from imposing a crackdown is out of their mind.
“Your industry is small by any metric of American capitalism,” said John Hudak of the Brookings Institution. “You are a speck of dust in a clutter of dirt of American capitalism… The president is planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If you think that hospitals, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are small enough to be shaken down by the president, but the cannabis industry is too big to face the same challenge from the president, once again, you’re insane.”
If Attorney General Sessions does take action to shut down the cannabis trade, he would likely do so by issuing a letter to state officials, giving them 90 days to close the doors on any business related to the cultivation and sale of marijuana. Any company refusing to comply would be ripped to pieces by the goons over at the DEA.