Ending a year-and-half holdup on the selection of Colorado’s chief federal prosecutor, President Trump nominates Jason Dunn for Colorado US Attorney. Confirmation in U.S. Senate is a process that could take several months, but if confirmed, Dunn would oversee Colorado’s federal law enforcement agencies- from the Drug Enforcement Agency, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Could this appointment be Trump fulfilling his assurances to Gardner that he will not target Colorado’s marijuana industry? The answer cannot be distinctly determined at this time, but the facts available appear to weigh in favor of the notion.
Jason Dunn is a former deputy attorney general and assistant solicitor under former state Attorney General John Suthers. Suthers, now the mayor of Colorado Springs, has a background as a prosecutor, and has openly expressed his opposition to embracing recreational marijuana use in Colorado. Suthers consistently expresses agreement with the positions taken by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and has also criticized Colorado U.S. Senator Cory Gardner on various grounds relating to Gardner’s passionate support for the State’s marijuana industry.
But on the other hand, Senator Cory Gardner commended the nomination of Dunn. In April, President Trump promised Senator Gardner that he would support a federalist approach to a legislative effort toward leaving marijuana laws up to the states to decide for themselves. In response to the nomination of Dunn, Gardner explained, “Jason has a proven record of public service and involvement in his community, and he has the integrity and character that will make Colorado proud. I will urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support his confirmation.”
Strong statements of that kind coming from Senator Gardner, a man who is not afraid to publicly call out politicians, potentially foreshadows the approach Jason Dunn will take to marijuana: hands off, like his predecessor U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. Troyer supported Colorado’s marijuana industry by refraining from employing change in federal enforcement of state marijuana industries.
And Gardner is not the only one pleased by the nomination. Peter Marcus, communications director for Terrapin Care Station based in Boulder, has also applauded Trump’s nomination. Commenting on Dunn’s experience with Colorado’s marijuana regulatory system, Marcus said, “It is encouraging to see that [Trump] has chosen a U.S. Attorney for Colorado who can help with that mission of protecting states’ rights when it comes to responsible marijuana regulation”.
Although key players in support of Colorado’s marijuana industry appear to be satisfied, Dunn’s employment history calls for cautious optimism as Dunn’s nomination moves through the U.S. Senate. To date, there is no indication Jason Dunn has outright spoken on his stance toward Colorado’s marijuana industry. It is possible Dunn could opt for a more aggressive approach to federal enforcement in Colorado, but it does bring comfort having a content Colorado Senator Gardner.
With reform in marijuana law in the political spotlight, and the prospect for a Colorado US Attorney in favor of states’ rights looming large, the heat is on for marijuana industry operators. Strict compliance with state and federal regulations and rules is an absolute must for marijuana business. At Cantafio & Song PLLC, not only does Attorney Charles Feldmann have a background as a DEA task force commander, but our team consists of Federal and State Prosecutors, Judges, Certified State Fraud Investigators, and Law Enforcement. Attorney Charles Feldmann helps his clients see the entire picture: he understands and analyzes the complex issues that arise in marijuana law from both the side of the government and that of the industry operators to help his clients reach the goal of 100% compliance. If you are an industry operator or wish to become one, contact Feldmann Nagel Margulis today, and we will help you achieve your goals in the marijuana industry.