Massachusetts Governor Calls on Feds to Crack Down on Opioids, Not Cannabis – News

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has called on the state’s U.S. Attorney to focus on the opioid crisis instead of cannabis, after new fears of federal prosecution caused a payment processor to back out of servicing the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling released a statement saying that he could not “provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution.” This statement set off a shockwave of concern throughout the state’s growing cannabis industry, which is in the midst of preparations for legal recreational sales slated to begin in July.

Access to banking has been an ongoing struggle for canna-businesses in the U.S., as federal laws prohibit banks from handling funds associated with federally-prohibited drugs. Some financial institutions have still been willing to take the risk of dealing with the cannabis industry, thanks in part to the Cole Memo, an Obama-era policy that advised the Justice Department not to interfere with banks that service state-legal adult-use cannabis companies. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole…

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