USA: Former DEA Agent Now Law Firm Partner Says In Interview That Federal Govt Could Re-Schedule Cannabis To Schedule II

Interestingly Cannabis Law Report has heard via a Washington(state) contact with an ear to the DEA, similar mutterings so this may be closer to reality than could have been imagined 12 months ago

Here’s some of the interview

Colorado attorney Charles Feldmann has worked with clients in the cannabis trade for years.

But he’s also been on the other side of the fence, working for the feds. Feldmann was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent from 1996 to 2001 and also once served as a Justice Department attorney, prosecuting Colorado narcotics traffickers.

These days, Feldmann focuses on investor relations in the legal marijuana trade, specializing in MJ securities, tax issues and funding.

Marijuana Business Daily spoke with Feldmann about the odds that the DEA will reschedule cannabis this year, the impact that could have on the industry, and his insights into the federal government’s attitude toward marijuana.

What was your role at the DEA?

I was a task force commander. Back then, the DEA was embedding prosecutors in some of their task forces. So I ran that team and then prosecuted all the drug cases that came out of the task force.

We were designated a high-intensity drug trafficking unit. Our jurisdiction was the Colorado Western Slope, so we were doing drug interdiction in northwest Colorado.

What do you apply from that time to your current work?

My transition was right around 2009, when there was a significant transition in the legal cannabis market in Colorado (with the DOJ’s Ogden Memo). I had numerous clients who were getting into the business, and they just wanted that background.

Obviously, the federal risk was far greater in 2009 than it is today. So a lot of my early work was literally just analyzing what the federal risk was and trying to manage that risk.
I was advising on what the consequences were for investors, landlords, actual license holders. And now it’s obviously evolved from there – as the federal risk has been mitigated significantly – to advising clients on how to stay 100% compliant.

Why do you think the risk of federal intervention has been mitigated?

Even when I was running the task force, marijuana was certainly far down our list of priorities. We were far more focused on methamphetamine production and heroin. Marijuana was a far lesser degree of something we would spend resources on.

And I think you’ve seen that as a consistent approach from the federal government, in terms of where they spend resources.

I still see several years of evolution and progress before we see some radical change at the federal level.

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