Pot industry frets, then shrugs off Sessions' new policy

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This week’s announcement that the U.S. Justice Department was ditching its hands-off approach to states that have legalized marijuana initially sent some in the industry into a tailspin, just days after California’s $7 billion recreational weed market opened for business.

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But for long-term pot purveyors accustomed to changing regulatory winds, the decision was just another bump in a long and winding road to proving their business legitimacy.

Many in the industry said they’re keeping a wait-and-see attitude because the effect of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement depends on whether federal prosecutors crack down on marijuana businesses operating legally under state laws. Sessions provided no details other than saying individual U.S. attorneys are authorized to prosecute marijuana operators as they choose.

Stocks of publicly traded marijuana-related companies plunged Thursday after Sessions announced the Justice Department’s new policy. On Friday, though, many of those stocks recovered.

“The announcement was largely symbolic,” said Patrick Moen, general counsel of Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based venture capital firm that invests in marijuana businesses. “This kind of stunt will not have a substantial effect on the industry.”

Continue Reading: https://www.apnews.com/6f251c3323b641e4af81b463214148f5/Pot-industry-frets,-then-shrugs-off-Sessions'-new-policy

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