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Texas Dispensaries Unfazed By Sessions Rescinding Directive On Legalized Marijuana

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking aim at policies that keep federal law enforcement officials away from businesses selling pot in states that have legalized its use.

 

Sessions plans to rescind Obama-era directives that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized the substance. This comes as marijuana businesses in Texas prepare to sell a non-psychoactive cannabis oil approved by the state.

 

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Credit Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio
Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation

Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, one of three marijuana dispensaries approved by Texas under the state’s Compassionate Use Act, doesn’t see his business becoming a target.

“I don’t believe that Texas is going to fall anywhere near the ‘high-end of the priority list,’ ” Denton said. “I think the focus on this action is on states that have very broad and very open legal recreational market, and that’s not us. The cannabis that we grow is very low in THC.”

THC is the psychoactive component that produces a “marijuana high.”

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Credit Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio
Compassionate Cultivation

Sessions’ directive doesn’t go into specifics about which states it will target or when.

Heather Fazio, executive director for Texas’ Marijuana Policy Project, is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to defend Texas’ Compassionate Use Act, the 2015 bill he signed into law.

“The states are going to have to defend the policies they’ve put in place. Even though our program — the Compassionate Use program — is unreasonably restrictive, it is in violation of federal law,” Fazio said.

Calls to the governor’s office and the state’s attorney general on whether or not they would defend the state’s law against federal prosecutions were not immediately returned.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe