Trump is turning over a new leaf on legal marijuana.
California’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry may soon be able to fully exhale after President Donald Trump indicated this week that he is willing to support federal legislation protecting legal cannabis businesses.
Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said in a statement today that he received a “commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”
The legislator was referring to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ January announcement that he was reversing course on the Obama Administration’s policy — known as the Cole Memo — of not pursuing federal prosecutions in states that had legalized marijuana for medical or recreational uses.
Colorado, of course, blazed the recreational trail back in 2012, transforming the once black-market product into a billion-dollar industry and setting the groundwork for a slate of states that would soon follow suit — including California this year.
News agencies, including the Associated Press
and the Los Angeles Times
, are reporting that White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders has described Gardner’s account as accurate and said Trump supports states’ rights on the matter.
Gardner had been in a stalemate with the Trump administration on the subject but reported that he will be “lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees” and working with colleagues on “bipartisan legislative solution” to the cannabis issue.
Read the statement from Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner:
Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana. Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.
Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees. My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk to deliver on his campaign position.