Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General, should the cannabis industry start to rejoice?

Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General, should the cannabis industry start to rejoice?

The ex-U.S. Attorney General is out of the way to full cannabis legalization, could we see the industry exponentially booming in the coming months?

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently resigned from his position and marijuana advocates are seeing this as a positive development for the cannabis industry.

According to The Atlantic, Sessions was forced out of his position by President Donald Trump, pressuring him to resign a day before the U.S. midterm elections in relation to the Justice Department’s scuffle on the Russia investigation.

For many cannabis enthusiasts, this is seen as a breakthrough as one of the biggest hurdles in the cannabis legalization is ultimately out of the picture. And if the numbers are any indication, it seems that Sessions is indeed a major factor.

For example, Nasdaq’s Alternative Harvest Marijuana ETF where tradable assets for the cannabis industry plays, closed 5.6 percent higher a mere hour after Sessions’ resignation, after which a peak price of $36.97 was reached.

Other cannabis-company stocks also showed improvement after Sessions’ announcement. Canadian company Tilray for one was boosted up by as much as 30 percent during the day’s trading, while Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis closed at 8 percent higher than the previous value.

Sessions vs the cannabis industry

Sessions has always been vocal about his objections regarding the legalization and use of marijuana. A few months ago, he got himself in yet another controversy with cannabis supporters for seemingly spreading ‘fake news’ about the use of the medicinal plant.

According to a report, the former Attorney General said in an event hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that “there is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding” when it comes to impaired driving, particularly when using cannabis.

“In recent years, a number of states have repealed their prohibitions on marijuana use. As a result, too many people think that marijuana is legal and that it is even legal to drive under the influence of marijuana.”

Sessions pointed out that the use of marijuana causes a slow reaction to users, affecting motor coordination which might prove dangerous especially when driving. He also said that there’s an increased rate of drivers testing positive to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound in marijuana associated with psychoactive effects.

Cannabis supporters, however, refuted the statements of Sessions saying that those who call for the legalization of the substance actually recognize the call to prohibit driving when under the influence of the cannabis plant. In fact, they have launched several campaigns that promote the curbing of impaired driving.

No to marijuana

Last July, during a press conference in Boston, Sessions was asked by members of the media regarding his department’s stand on legal marijuana, and he replied that he will uphold the federal law which still puts marijuana under controlled or illegal substance. The former Attorney General also reiterated that the federal law has every right to override state provisions.  

In Massachusetts, people had previously voted to have marijuana legalized. This led to open cultivation and gifting of the herb without legal restraints. While this change that came about nearly two years ago is a major milestone, no retail industry exists in the state yet. Initial permits have just been issued, however, and a licensing process is now in effect.

According to AG Sessions, “States have a right to set their own laws and will do so, and we will follow the federal law.” The statement is somewhat ambiguous and open to interpretation while its implications are unknown. According to Sessions, “The American republic will not be better if there are marijuana sales on every street corner.”

Federal Attorney Andrew Lelling shed light on federal prosecutors’ main concerns. They wish to focus mainly on three areas of marijuana law enforcement. Their first major goal is preventing legal cannabis surpluses being redirected to illegal markets. Their second priority area is singling out operators who sell and provide marijuana to the under aged. Thirdly, they seek to prevent criminal organizations from trafficking cannabis across state borders.

An overview of the pros and cons of cannabis use

According to Denise Walker, a researcher at the University of Washington, the public may not be aware of all the health issues related to the use of marijuana. She is of the view that marijuana “can be addictive, it can diminish intelligence, it impairs driving and it can trigger anxiety and psychological illnesses.”

A contrary view is held by Professor Dame Sally who states that “There is now … conclusive evidence of the therapeutic benefit of cannabis-based medicinal products for certain medical conditions and reasonable evidence of therapeutic benefit in several other medical conditions.”

Professor Sally believes that from a scientific standpoint there is little justification left for keeping cannabis-based medicinal products in Schedule 1. Sally does not, however, promote or condone recreational use of marijuana saying that there is enough evidence indicating its potential harm as a recreational substance.

Sanjay Gupta, MD, believes that in terms of pain management, marijuana has shown its effectiveness in reducing the need for narcotics, in turn, preventing accidental deaths caused by overdoses of opiate-based painkillers. He states that marijuana is a medicine and should be treated with that understanding.  

More generally speaking, medical uses of marijuana include the treatment of intraocular pressure from glaucoma, nausea, and vomiting (usually associated with chemotherapy), pain management, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and wasting syndrome in AIDS patients due to its appetite increasing effects.

Now, when it comes to the health benefits of cannabis, some states and industries actually prefer the use of cannabidiol (CBD), another compound of cannabis which has the same benefits of products made of THC. CBD, as CBD oil, contains only trace amounts of THC which make CBD-derived products safer to use. CBD is available in both marijuana and hemp (also a cannabis plant) although CBD from hemp has safer levels of THC.

This would mean that taking CBD hemp products could be safer for use in the long run since users will not get high but still benefit from its health advantages.

Hemp products are known to be safer compared to marijuana because it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. (Source)

PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. a growing industry leader in hemp products

One of the companies that push for the use of CBD oil instead of THC is PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN). POTN is dedicated to researching, developing and distributing high-quality hemp extracts containing a wide variety of cannabinoids and natural derivatives from hemp. Selling products in all 50 states, with a growing international customer base, the company is proving to be a growing industry leader.

Diamond CBD, Inc. is a subsidiary of the company and it also continues to capture larger shares of the hemp-based CBD market. They have been introducing new high-quality products while tapping new markets. As a result of their spectacular growth, they have crossed $10 million in Diamond CBD product sales within the first half of 2018. This figure represents twice the earnings during the same duration in the previous year.

Diamond CBD’s has a strong team of hemp industry pioneers and natural product experts, chemists, doctors and scientists, who dedicate themselves to producing top-notch unadulterated CBD oils. They offer a selection of 100 percent natural and potent CBD oils, tinctures, edibles, and vape liquids.

Their products are highly regarded by their customers because of their proven health benefits minus the psychoactive effects. The foreign grown hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, utilized by POTN, is based on cannabidiol (CBD) with a maximum of 0.03% THC content by weight. This means their products can be used for therapeutic and medicinal reasons without users experiencing any intoxicating effects.

(Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0)

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