With the new year comes new changes in laws. The Obama administration created a policy called the Cole memo, which would focus on serious drug offenses such as cultivating pot on public land and selling to minors. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded that policy, however, and now cannabis shops in Washington are nervous.

Sessions made the policy change in an effort to reduce violent crime. But this is a huge change in how federal laws are enforced, especially when it comes to a drug that is still illegal under federal law, but widely recognized as legal throughout the United States.

The owners and employees of The Green Door, known as Seattle’s favorite cannabis shop, are feeling the tension. After all, the future is unknown. In the past, the store was doing nothing to raise concerns. But now, it’s on the radar of prosecutors and even the act of selling marijuana could cause the store to face federal charges.

The good news is that leaders and lawmakers in the state are marijuana friendly. The state’s governor, senators and attorney general have all supported the marijuana business. They have all said that they don’t plan to go after cannabis shops or their customers.

There is still concern, however, that the crackdown on federal laws could prevent marijuana shops from getting bank loans. This could prevent these stores from growing.

Federal Laws Pertaining to Marijuana

Even though 46 states have laws legalizing marijuana for medical use, the drug is still illegal according to federal law. The Controlled Substances Act does not differentiate between medical and recreational use of marijuana. In addition, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug and is treated like heroin, cocaine and other drugs. As such, marijuana is considered a dangerous drug and federal penalties are steep for those who possess, cultivate or sell large quantities of the drug.

Get Help for Your Criminal Case

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, while many states have legalized it. This lack of consistency is confusing to those who use the drug, and it’s scary for pot stores who rely on marijuana sales to bring in revenue.

If you’re an individual or business facing federal charges for possessing or selling marijuana, the criminal defense lawyers at the Nahajski Firm can help. We can provide defense for all drug charges. To schedule your free consultation, contact us at (206) 621-0500.