Jeff Sessions is OUT – How will Trump’s new AG affect the cannabis industry?



Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

The results of the recent election will understandably have repercussions on the cannabis industry, some of which will last for a while and some that will have a temporary effect.

Michigan experienced an instant shift in evolution, as it became the first state in the Midwest to legalize cannabis for adult-use and the 10th state on the U.S. map to pass a recreational cannabis law. Victorious ballot measures were also passed in Missouri and Utah, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 33.  

As if that wasn’t enough to amplify the legal weed industry, on the day after the election, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped down from his role at the request of President Trump. Trump must now choose someone to replace Sessions. So, what effect does Sessions’ resignation have on the cannabis industry? Let’s ponder over some possibilities.

Cannabis stocks rallied after Sessions’ resignation

Soon after the pot prohibitionist resigned, cannabis stocks sprung into erratic action. Why? Because investors saw his departure as a positive sign for the weed industry at large. Stocks didn’t maintain their erratic state for long, however. By Thursday, when the markets had shut down, cannabis stocks had settled once again.

Ultimately, this has left a lot of traders wondering if they were better off with the anti-cannabis Attorney General that we all knew and did not love, as opposed to a new AG who could rattle the market further.

Sessions’ resignation may assist cannabis entrepreneurs in securing funding

One way in which former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ departure may bolster the cannabis industry is related to cannabis banking issues. Funding and payment options are severely lacking for cannabis entrepreneurs, and Sessions is largely to blame.

Why would any financial institution want to provide their services to a cannabis industry player if there are constant threats of a federal cannabis crackdown? Sessions loved to shake up the industry and it certainly worked but now, payment providers may be having second thoughts about turning their backs on weed.

Sessions, who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” will no longer be bad mouthing the bud. With him out of the picture, payment providers will have time to reassess the potential of servicing cannabis companies.

There’s some serious money to be made in this avenue and even the Bank of America (BOA) is getting on board. BOA is the institution that will be financing Constellation Brands’ $4 billion investment in Canopy Growth Corporation.

Sessions’ resignation could help restore cannabis’ image

Another way in which Sessions’ resignation as Attorney General may impact the cannabis community is by shifting the negative stigma away from the medicinal powerhouse plant. Being a major pot opponent, Sessions wasn’t exactly making weed look good during his time served as AG.

In fact, he did quite the opposite, with the anti-pot politician vocally expressing his dislike for the green stuff on numerous occasions. Stocks would often plunge after the cannabis opponent spoke against legalization. With him gone, the U.S. actually stands a chance at federal cannabis legalization ensuing.

Should Trump hire someone well-equipped to replace Sessions as AG, that particular person could help to restore cannabis’ image by clearing up some common misconceptions, such as the “gateway drug” theory? With Trump already showing support for federal cannabis legalization, all that is needed now is a pro-pot AG to further sway public opinion and prompt the government to go green.