Time For Federal Action?
It’s possible that these recent setbacks for the marijuana industry could have a silver lining, if they spur those in Washington to iron out the conflicts between federal marijuana law and the growing number of states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. The Obama administration’s hands-off approach to state marijuana regulations has allowed dispensary markets to flourish around the country, but it’s going to take proactive federal action, such as removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, to do away with the industry’s legal predicament once and for all.
Thanks to conflicts with federal law, marijuana enterprises are entering 2016 lacking the financial services provided to every other modern industry, threatened by RICO lawsuits that could turn them into business pariahs, susceptible to myriad administrative hassles and, depending on shifts of the political winds, at risk of being wiped off the map. It could prove to be a bumpy year.