Steph Sherer on the future of the cannabis industry under Trump and Sessions
We won’t be surprised if the sales of cannabis spike on Friday, since people are going to need some bud to help manage the depression that comes with Trump’s presidential inauguration.
The cannabis industry has long known that a Trump presidency has been a sticky issue. We’ve been following the news for a long time now, but Steph Sherer who has spent years lobbying for medical marijuana patients in Washington DC has some pretty good insight on how a Trump and Sessions administration will impact the industry which she shared with Marijuana Business Daily. Unfortunately, she thinks there will be a serious buzz kill.
What Could Happen
According to Sherer, states with existing legal marijuana programs can expect to be audited by Sen. Sessions to see how well they comply with the 8 strictures of the 2013 Cole Memo. These audits could be used by anti-marijuana groups to impede any progress the system has made over the past few years. Sherer also says she is “frightened” about the future of MMJ, although she thinks that the industry will still trump the new administration.
We know that cannabis being a schedule 1 drug at the federal level has been the biggest obstacle in legalization. Sherer says that since Sessions is most concerned about enforcement of federal laws, it’s crucial that federal legislation is passed before April 28 since this is when the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment expires, which protects the MMJ industry. Doing so could limit the damage that Sessions could do to the industry. Sherer thinks that now is the time for everyone to take action to finally make cannabis legal at the federal level.
“The Perfect Storm”
Not passing the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would be the worst case scenario, Sherer says. Other possible worst case scenarios would be that the Department of Justice reporting violations in MMJ markets, or the FDA finding contaminants in cannabis products found in dispensaries. Since the FDA has already been evaluating products it wouldn’t be too hard for them to analyze products and labels from dispensaries throughout the country.
According to Sherer, dispensaries face the biggest risks because they are the middlemen between consumers and products. It’s also likely that the DEA will go out sending threat letters to all businesses involved and have an action plan for each of them.
A ripple effect could easily happen if even just one company is found to be selling fake or contaminated cannabis products. This could hurt the entire industry, and Congress won’t have a choice if reports from the FDA show this kind of information even if they come from states that have medical marijuana programs in place.
Moving forward, Scherer thinks that cannabis businesses need to focus on preservation and accountability. Companies that are honest, diligent about providing clean products with zero contaminants or pesticides and who fully believe in their products have a better chance of surviving the Trumpocalypse. Going the extra mile for your business now is what truly counts.