Since President Trump took office in January 2017, there has not been a single federal enforcement action against the US cannabis industry. President Trump has made only favorable remarks about federal cannabis policy. During the 2016 campaign, asked by a Colorado reporter whether he would enforce the federal ban on cannabis in states that had legalized, he said: “I wouldn’t do that, no…I think it’s up to the states yeah, I’m a States person. I think it should be up to the states absolutely.” Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said: “The President believes we ought to allow the states to do what they’re doing.”
While former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 4, 2018 rescinded the Cole Memo (DOJ guidance to prosecutors to avoid state-legal cannabis business), not a single prosecutor around the country has acted against the industry since then.
President Trump likely advised Mr. Sessions of his views on states’ rights and he likely already discussed the same with Attorney General nominee William Barr. Ultimately, decisions to launch any action rests with individual US Attorneys’ prosecutorial discretion. But with two-thirds of the US public supporting federal legalization (including, for the first time, majorities in every age group and political demographic), prosecutors around the country, who generally have political ambitions, understand that an action against the industry would end any such ambitions.