The U.S. Department issued new guidance for federal prosecutors last week. We had been anticipating a new memo from Justice for some time- hoping that it would clarify whether the dispensary portions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act are legal under federal law (the Controlled Substances Act). We were also hoping it would help us figure out how risky it would be for us to issue dispensary applications. Unfortunately, the new guidance didn’t help much.
The guidance makes it clear that folks that facilitate large scale cultivation are at risk for prosecution. People that “facilitate” cultivation are also at risk for prosecution. But, a key remaining question is what the word “facilitation” means. Could it mean that issuing state approved licenses for cultivation and dispensing would put us at risk for prosecution? We’re hoping that the upcoming Declaratory Judgment will answer this question (and others) once and for all. You can check out the new memo from Justice on our website.