California to Jeff Sessions: We Are Not Afraid

It has been nearly three weeks since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent shockwaves through the marijuana industry by reversing an Obama-era policy barring interference with state marijuana laws. But for the most part, it’s life as usual in California.

As the Verge reports, many businesses are handling the news with a stiff upper lip. Part of that comes from their faith in state lawmakers who have vowed to resist the administration at every turn.

“At the state level, I’m aware of very aggressive reaction by state legislators, including demanding explanation from each of the U.S. attorneys,” said cannabis entrepreneur Gavin Kogan. “I have to say, as an operator, I don’t feel hung out to dry. I feel like the state of California has my back.”

Indeed, legislators are discussing everything from new state laws to lawsuits in federal court to protect the bourgeoning marijuana industry. There is also a sense that the financial and political risks of cracking down on state-sanctioned pot businesses will ultimately prove too high for those with the power to follow through.

“The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak,” said Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana. He wants to see lawmakers block Department of Justice appointments pending a change in the administration’s stance on marijuana.

“Not only are we fighting back, but we’re moving forward,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who is proposing legislation to legalize pot at the federal level.

Read more about how the state is handling the threat here