Legal Blog

Frosh: Sessions decision on marijuana legalization 'inhumane'

Cannabis Attorney Emily Burns Quoted in the Baltimore Business Journal

By Morgan Eichensehr Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh called a move by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday to rescind Obama-era policies that allowed for state-based marijuana legalization without federal interference, "inhumane."

Frosh said this decision has the potential to cause fear and disruption in nascent marijuana industries across the country, including those like Maryland's, specifically designed to meet the needs of the very ill.

A majority of states have marijuana industries today, acting within a regulatory environment established by the Obama Administration. That administration took a largely hands-off approach to legality and enforcement issues around marijuana.

Emily Burns, an attorney with Offit Kurman's Cannabis Law Practice, said there is no "immediate legal effect" to Sessions's decision, because technically the Obama-era policies never provided any true legal protection and federal prosecutors have always been free to pursue charges for marijuana law violations if they so chose.

Maryland has been working to launch its state-regulated medical cannabis industry for over four years. The first licensed dispensaries opened their doors in December. And over 17,000 patients have been registered to purchase cannabis products in the state.

Burns pointed out medical marijuana states, like Maryland, could be protected under a legal provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which was passed in 2014 and prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing medical marijuana laws.

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ABOUT EMILY BURNS

eburns@offitkurman.com | 410.209.6454

Emily became passionate about pursuing a legal career in the cannabis industry while attending Vanderbilt Law School, as she had the opportunity to enroll in one of the nation's first Marijuana Law and Policy courses, taught by leading marijuana law and policy scholar, Professor Robert Mikos. Emily soon began assisting Professor Mikos with writing a first-of-its-kind casebook entitled Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority, acquiring in-depth knowledge of the various state regulations governing cannabis consumers, producers, and other third parties. In addition to having expert knowledge of the complex legal issues presented by conflicting federal-state marijuana laws, Emily is also involved in marijuana policy reform efforts at the federal level. By incorporating her knowledge of marijuana policy with her understanding of the legal and regulatory environment, Emily is able to anticipate and identify potential legal concerns ex-ante.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 140 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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