Protections Extended for the Marijuana Industry

Government shutdown averted. Marijuana industry protected. Well, at least for now.

It’s a Christmas miracle! Not just because we averted another government shutdown (side note: is it really a shut down if you’re barely functioning?), but because the marijuana industry was thrown a (small) bone today. The industry breathed a collective sigh of relief when Congressional leadership voted to enact continuing resolution that maintains present federal spending levels and priorities through January 19, 2018. This resolution will ensure, at least temporarily, protections for the marijuana industry imposed by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. A tongue twister of a name, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has, since 2014, been included in annual spending bills to protect state-sanctioned medical marijuana industries from DOJ prosecution. Basically, the RBA empties the piggy bank for DOJ prosecutors who aim to shut down state-legal medical marijuana operations. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., was cautiously optimistic:

So don’t celebrate too prematurely. If the RBA is going to stay, Congressional leadership still must reauthorize this language as part of the upcoming budget.

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