Former US Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in First Long-form Interview

mg magazine

Jim Cole returns to Cannabis Economy- a real-time history of legal cannabis, to outline the new reality for legal cannabis in the United States.

New York, NY – January 11, 2018 – Former US Deputy Attorney General and
author of the Cole Memos, Jim Cole joins Host Seth Adler as the guest
for Cannabis sharing what the rescission of the Cole Memos and the Ogden Memo before it means for legal cannabis and the questions that the action raises. A key
question has to do with banking.
“The FinCen memo may kind of die of its own weight because it is based on
compliance with the Cole Memo. So there’s a question about whether the
FinCen memo, which has not withdrawn still exists,” says Cole. The third
Cole Memo was released in concert with the FinCen memo, which outlines
guidance on banking state legal cannabis.
“Why do you really care about whether there is a marijuana industry?” asks
Cole, “and it’s because if you’re going to make it legal, you want to make
sure that there’s a legal source for it and you want to get the cartels out
of it and the gangs out of it. And you can only do that by allowing a space
for these legal industries to function in somewhat of a safe space,
somewhat of a kind of a well-informed space.”
Adler infers that without that well-informed space, legal cannabis
operators must deal with the prospect of raids and lawsuits, the costs
associated with those raids and lawsuits and the effect that those raids
and lawsuits will have on legal cannabis businesses. He notes, “If state
legal cannabis operations with tested cannabis are disrupted and legal
doors must be closed to deal with the federal authorities, that opens black
market doors to supply untested product.”
Now that the memos have been rescinded, the Rohrabacher Blumenauer Amendment
dictates legal medical cannabis. For adult-use cannabis, it’s now up to US
attorneys stationed where adult-use cannabis has been passed. Central
California, which includes Los Angeles and San Diego, and Northern
California, which includes the Bay Area both, have new Attorney’s, which
have been appointed by AG Sessions.
Cole and Adler further discuss the thought process behind creating each of
the three memos, his first in 2011, the second in 2013 and the final memo
released in concert with FinCen guidance on Valentine’s Day 2014.
Cole made his first Cannabis Economy appearance in Episode 140.