Nevada’s marijuana industry holds its breath as new US Attorney remains quiet on pot issue

Nevada’s marijuana industry holds its breath as new US Attorney remains quiet on pot issue (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

It’s been more than a week since the feds rolled back policies that largely shielded state-sponsored marijuana programs from federal intervention. Nevada’s budding marijuana industry is still holding its breath wondering what a new U.S. Attorney for Nevada could do on the issue.

A decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is casting a haze over the future of pot in Nevada.

“There is some fear in the cannabis industry but I do believe that the fear comes from the unknown,” said cannabis consultant Jason Sturtsman.

RELATED | Nevada marijuana industry fearful of government raids amid fed’s policy change

While on the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump said marijuana was a state issue. However, the feds still consider it a “dangerous drug” and for now, enforcement of federal law will be left to the top prosecutor in each state.

In Nevada, newly appointed U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson has remained silent on the pot issue. Elieson is a former prosecutor from Texas who was recently appointed to the interim position by Sessions.

“Currently we have not heard anything from her but I highly suspect just like many other states as well that there will not be any current change to what we have experienced,” said Sturtsman.

RELATED | Local officials' message to Sessions: States rights matter

Nevada’s marijuana industry sports roughly 6,000 jobs and promises millions in tax revenue the state is counting on. A single government raid could jeopardize everything.

As for Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, he wants clarification from Elieson.

“I’m not sure if she’s in the state yet but hopefully at her earliest opportunity, I’d like to sit down with her to see what her intentions are,” said Sandoval, adding later: “I probably would encourage her to see what we have done to tell her that federal intervention isn’t needed.”

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