Fed announces a crackdown on Marijuana; what should you do?

by | Jan 4, 2018 | Colorado Commercial Property Valuation

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, the people said.

Why now?

It is definitely odd timing of the announcement.  With all the other major issues going on in Washington it is a bit perplexing.  I think the announcement was more for publicity than anything else as California starts legal recreational marijuana.

What does this mean?

I don’t think the announcement really changes much in regard to enforcement priorities.  Federal prosecutors have their hands full already so it is unlikely they will muddy the waters going after legal marijuana producers.  It does make me wonder about the recent shutdown of one of the largest marijuana shops (sweet leaf) for Looping (I had to research this, it is basically when a customer goes in multiple times to buy marijuana; you can only sell a certain amount to each customer so selling to the same customer twice is illegal).

The Genie is out of the box!

There is no going back in marijuana regulation, if anything more states are leaning towards laxer policies on Marijuana.  Furthermore, the revenue generated off the marijuana is a “drug” unto itself for various tax jurisdictions.  Nobody will give up the tax revenue without a large fight.


What should you do?

If you are involved in the industry it will continue to be difficult from a banking perspective.  More of the “institutional” money will also likely pull back in the short term until there is great clarity.  From a real estate perspective, as I have mentioned in the past, ensure you are focusing on general purpose properties so if there is any large change you have a viable option for the property.








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Written by Glen Weinberg, COO/ VP Fairview Commercial Lending.  Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in the Colorado Real Estate Journal, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.

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