Available 24/7

DOJ and States with Medical Marijuana

Congress recently approved the FY2017 budget, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017. Contained within the budget was the renewal prohibiting the Department of Justice from using appropriated money to prosecute medical marijuana "use, distribution, possession, or cultivation" so long as each of those actions were accomplished pursuant to that state's laws. The list now has 44 states plus D. C., Guam & Puerto Rico. The prohibition is contained below.


Free initial consultations are available for potential clients: Call (888) 458-0991


Although recreational use statutes in the States that have passed such legislation is not covered by the prohibition, it is a good sign that the Department of Justice may take the same approach and not prosecute recreational use cases where the activities comply with State laws.

SEC. 537.: None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

John Schum, a former federal military judge and prosecutor works extensively with his CA cannabis clients in mitigating their federal risk and creating successful business models that react and pivot to the evolving Trump administration's handling of the cannabis industry. Contact him and his firm's extensive marijuana team at for assistance with your federal risk mitigation plan or any other industry related business needs.

Related Posts
  • What Business Owners and Investors Should Know About Exiting the Cannabis Industry Read More
  • Getting Into the Cannabis Industry: A Primer Read More
  • Anticipating the Inevitable: Preparing for Federal Cannabis Legalization Read More