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Newly Appointed William Barr to Leave Marijuana Companies Alone

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Jan. 16 2019, Updated 8:07 a.m. ET

William Barr on marijuana companies

At the end of last year, when US Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from his position, we predicted that this development could bring some optimism to the cannabis sector in the US, as Jeff Sessions was one of the harshest critics of marijuana. On January 15, our prediction came true when the newly appointed US Attorney General, William Barr, indicated that he would leave marijuana companies that operate in states where cannabis is legal alone.

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US is warming up

This development brings relief to cannabis companies operating in the US that feared federal action for conducting operations related to cannabis, which is considered illegal at the federal level. The US is warming up to the legalization of cannabis. Barr’s views on the marijuana industry come after the previous Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, rescinded the Obama-era Cole Memo, which favored marijuana-related businesses.

More recently, the US legalized hemp through its passage of the Farm Bill in 2018. Pursuant to this development, Canopy Growth (WEED) received a license to operate a hemp facility in New York. Increasingly, companies (MJ) including Tilray (TLRY), Cronos Group (CRON), and Aurora Cannabis (ACB) are deepening their interests in the US market, and this is likely just the beginning.

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