Repeal of Cole Memo Raises Concerns, Opportunities for Cannabis Industry


Shortly after cannabis enthusiasts and investors celebrated?California’s?January 1, 2018, rollout of legal recreational marijuana sales to adults, the federal government reversed its course on marijuana policy, calling for tighter enforcement of marijuana laws. U.S. Attorney General?Jeff Sessions?rescinded the Cole Memorandum, a 2013 policy that offered some protections from federal prosecution for the cultivation, distribution and possession of cannabis in states where the highly regulated plant is legal. Sessions’ decision ushered in a deeper freeze to the banking dilemma facing cannabis retailers, who have found themselves relying primarily on cash transactions since cannabis remains illegal under federal law. Although the rollback of the Cole memo created serious questions and sent marijuana-related stocks lower, there continues to be positive movement in the cannabis industry as companies invest their attention and resources on alternative financing options and the technology behind them.

Confusion = Opportunity

Even amid what the media is describing as a potential future “crackdown” on marijuana-related business, the cannabis industry is expected to mushroom from?$6.7 billion?in 2016 to over?$21 billion?by 2021, according to Arcview Group research. In rescinding the Cole Memo policy, Sessions said future prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sell cannabis in states where it has been legalized will be left up to individual U.S. attorneys. Nearly 70 U.S. representatives of Congress wasted no time in proposing a spending bill amendment that would ensure protections for states that have legalized marijuana in spite of Sessions’ decision. Representatives said the proposed provision is written to specifically respect the constitutional authority of states to regulate commerce within their own borders.

Warren Wang, CEO and founder of? (OTCQB:?CIIX), said that even during a time of confusion in the broader cannabis industry there is opportunity if one knows where to look., a diverse educational and consulting company for the Chinese-speaking community in?Chinaand?the United States?with interests in the cannabinoid (CBD) market, recently announced it is spinning off two of its divisions to allow the company to focus on its new cryptocurrency division.

“We are excited to announce our intention to spin off CBD Biotechnology and, Inc., as we believe the existing business lines and the new acquisitions in?China, secured by CEO (of CBD Biotechnology Co., Ltd.)?Summer Yun, will allow these entities to continue to grow in their respective markets, while bringing new value to the company’s existing shareholders,” Wang said in a December news release.


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