Just a few days ago, Raeven Duckett and her partners marked a milestone: the first day of expanding their marijuana delivery service to recreational users. The company, Community Gardens Oakland Dispensary, was the first adult-use business in the city of Oakland and the third in the entire state of California to obtain a license to dispense edibles, tinctures and cannabis buds to people over 21. This week, California became the sixth state in the U.S. to decriminalize recreational marijuana and Duckett says she and her cofounders were working hard to "cross the t's and dot the i's" to comply with the state and the city's tough regulations on license holders. As news broke that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed all U.S. Attorneys to strictly enforce existing drug laws, Duckett vowed to keep moving ahead.
Four days after prohibition on recreational marijuana ended in California, Sessions stepped up the federal threat to the industry, stating that current laws "reflect Congress's determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity a serious crime." Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum, Obama Administration rules that had allowed legal marijuana businesses to thrive in states where citizens approved its sale. Although the timing was surprising for some given California's roll out on January 1st as the country's largest legal market, the Attorney General's stance on marijuana was not. Sessions has expressed anti-marijuana sentiments in the past.