Why There is Still Reason to be Optimistic About Legalization, Even in the Sessions Era, by Robert Hoban.

Entire libraries seemingly have been written about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ distaste for cannabis. 

We all know the 70-year-old former U.S. Senator from Alabama is not a fan of marijuana. We also know he is very much against legalized recreational pot sales.

But while most of the writing on the subject has signaled some sort of apocalypse for the legalization movement— “Jeff Sessions’ Coming War on Legal Marijuana,” a lengthy Politico Magazine piece predicted—I’d like to approach this from a very different angle. 

The legal marijuana industry, which is expected to create more than 250,000 jobs and be worth more than $22 billion by 2021, has legitimate concerns under Sessions, yes. But there is absolutely no reason for cannabis businesses to press the panic button just yet.

In fact, if you look beyond Sessions’ off-handed tough talk about marijuana—the basis for most of the industry’s concern—and focus instead on what he’s directly said about his intentions for enforcing this new and burgeoning industry, you might even feel a growing optimism.

In April, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, alongside the governors of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State, penned a letter urging the Attorney General to leave their state-legal retail cannabis industries alone. Later in the month, after a face-to-face meeting with Sessions, Hickenlooper told MSNBC that Sessions “didn’t give me any reason to think he’s going to come down and try and put everyone out of business. He certainly was very direct and clearly said they’ve got a lot of priorities, and, at one point, he said, ‘Well you haven’t seen us cracking down, have you?’”