California pulls ad critics said promoted pot use

Gov. Hickenlooper says Sessions told him they wouldn't go after marijuana

Pueblo cannabis industry and lawmakers react to Sessions announcement

On Monday, California will become the sixth USA state, and by far the most populous, to legalize, regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana - a market catering to consumers wishing to buy the drug for its mind- and mood-altering properties.

Dozens of newly authorized marijuana stores are due to open for business across California on January 1, launching yet another chapter in America's drug culture and the largest regulated commercial market for cannabis in the United States - one valued at several billion dollars. He says licenses will also be issued on New Year's Day. Now cannabis is a cash only business because federal laws prohibit banking activity with illegal businesses. Under U.S. tax code 280e, many marijuana companies pay effective tax rates as high as 60 percent. On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country.

Senator Rob Bradley was the author of Florida's Medical Marijuana Law. Sessions' Thursday memo eliminates those rules.

The 2013 "Cole memo" that recognized that marijuana was still illegal under federal law but gave prosecutors permission to direct resources away from enforcement in states with decriminalization laws is no more. He says things will now be left up to federal prosecutors.

Marijuana legalization has spurred new businesses from growers to retailers, delivery services, providers of supplies and technology startups serving the industry.

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Cannabis Sativa Inc (OTC:CBDS), based in Nevada, where recreational cannabis got the go ahead last July, shed around 24% to US$7.40. She said she hopes Sessions' move leads Congress to permanently offer the medical marijuana community protection, rather than renewing it every year. "I think we are at a point in time where we're not going to go back, in terms of outlawing recreational cannabis in states it's been approved or outlawing medical cannabis in states it's been approved".

The announcement came three days after California formally launched the world's largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana.

The decision to rescind an Obama Administration order instructing prosecutors not to focus on cannabis businesses in states where the drug is legal allows local USA attorneys to file criminal charges against cannabis peddlers and consumers.

In his decision, DeBow acknowledged that language in the Compassionate Care Act was contradictory, saying both that "the (Health) commissioner shall register not more than five registered organizations that manufacture medical marijuana" and "the commission may register additional registered organizations". He equates the drug with heroin, has blamed pot for a rising tide of violence, and has said that medical use of marijuana has been "hyped, maybe too much".

Sicklick said this is Sessions' personal crusade against cannabis.

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"If you are operating in the Southern District of California, for example, I would listen to the USA attorney for that district", he said.

From the small town of Shasta Lake just south of OR to San Diego on the Mexican border, the first of about 90 shops licensed by the state opened Monday to customers who previously needed a medical reason OR a dope dealer to score pot.

Gonzalez has used marijuana products for than four decades to manage chronic pain. In Colorado alone, about 35,000 people work in the legal marijuana industry, which generated more than $226 million in taxes past year on a product once sold entirely on the black market. How legalized marijuana is changing one California town.

"That's why a lot of us are in this industry, to allow people access to this incredible plant", said Marty Higgins, the proprietor at Harvest on Geary, which has been operating as a medical dispensary for two years. Nor does Moen think the DEA will ramp up marijuana enforcement, particularly given how closely the federal agents rely on their local and state partnerships in drug task forces.

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