– I haven’t written about local prospective high-end marijuana entrepreneur Jamen Shively, but in this article he says something interesting:
Shively said that under no circumstances would his company violate federal law.
“Let’s suppose tomorrow that Washington state issued licenses and said, ‘Go ahead, guys, have at it.’ We would say to the state of Washington respectfully, ‘Thanks, but no thanks, because we haven’t heard from the federal government.'”
I doubt the federal government is going to “back off” before the state starts issuing licenses. I tend to think that they’ll be too timid about the political repercussions to do anything at first, but they’ll eventually try some sort of crackdown once people start making real money. If that’s how it plays out, I’m not sure Shively’s move is a smart one. Cornering the high-end market for marijuana won’t be that hard once the market gets going (as we might see delivery services instead of storefronts until the fear of fed intervention dies down). In fact, with the ease in producing a legal product, “high-end” marijuana will likely cost close to what it does today. There will be a number of enterprises out there willing to work quietly and under the radar, and some of those will weather the storm of a fed crackdown.
– Dylan Matthews discusses what the Obama Administration could do from a rescheduling standpoint. Most scenarios discussed involved rescheduling rather than simply removing it as a controlled substance. But removing it entirely probably makes the most sense from a policy standpoint if we feel the proper approach is to treat it like alcohol.
– You’ve probably also seen that Frankie’s in Olympia is the first bar set up to legally allow the consumption of marijuana on its premises. They were able to do this because they fought to gain an exemption from the state’s anti-smoking laws years back. One thing I expect to see is a push for other establishments (bars, arcades, movie theaters) to come up with clever ways to welcome pot smokers (roof seating, outdoor patios, etc) even without resorting to a fight with the state.