SPOKANE, Wash. -- Almost immediately after Jeff Sessions was tapped to become Attorney General, there were concerns about what it could mean for the legal industry across Washington.
On Thursday, Attorney General Sessions reversed Obama-era regulation that allowed legal marijuana to flourish as state issues. In an official memo, Sessions said "prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions" and noted that marijuana remains federally illegal. The Department of Justice also said it could take further action against states that have legalized pot but did not offer specifics.
Sam Calvert, the owner and founder of Green Star Cannabis in Spokane, said the potential for federal enforcement on legal pot shops here in Washington is always a concern. Calvert says the last four years have not come easy. A concern that never goes away is the fact that weed is still illegal at the federal level. He said he was shocked by Sessions' memo but he is not panicking just yet.
"It's created a ripple panic effect that I think is really unnecessary,” he said. "It's not as if the Department of Justice is going to seize assets and wreak havoc on the industry."
For now, he said his biggest concern is for his employees.
“I of course have eight bud team members who have been here a long time and we've talked about it all day. We are concerned about it, nobody wants, one of our team members have children, to be arrested for doing a spectacular job what she does and that goes for all the budtenders here," Calvert said.
Calvert said it is just too early to know how the industry could be affected. In the meantime, he will continue to run business as usual.