DOJ rescinds Cole Memo: Here’s What to Expect.

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This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Department of Justice’s move to rescind the “Cole Memo” and two additional memos related to marijuana enforcement policy. These memos, issued in 2013 and 2014, have helped to clarify the Department’s response to state-legal cannabis activity.

This is disturbing news for the cannabis industry and the majority of U.S. voters who support legal cannabis. However, the rescinding of this memo does not necessarily mean that any major change in enforcement policy is on the horizon. This has been, and still will be, a matter of prosecutorial discretion.


NCIA’s team in D.C. is working tirelessly to ensure that the administration and the Department of Justice uphold President Trump’s campaign promise to not interfere with state-legal cannabis programs by making sure they understand that regulated cannabis is successfully undercutting the criminal market, while funding important state programs.

At this time, it’s critical the cannabis industry unify to amplify that message so it’s crystal clear. It’s also imperative that Congress take action to align federal legislation with the majority of states, which now allow some form of legal cannabis.

One pressing issue before Congress is Senator Leahy’s appropriations amendment which would prevent the DOJ from using resources to undermine state medical cannabis laws. (The Senate’s version of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment in the House.)

Please call your U.S. Senators today and urge them to include the Leahy Amendment in the upcoming Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

Talking points to help guide your call are included on our online action page.

To learn more about NCIA’s advocacy efforts or the NCIA-PAC, please contact NCIA Government Relations Manager, Michelle Rutter by emailing [email protected].