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Jeff Sessions’ exit may be good news for cannabis but it’s bad news for democracy

By Sean McCaughan
Nov 09, 2018

On Wednesday, immediately after the midterm elections, President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He forced the former senator from Alabama to tender his resignation and appointed a man whom many consider to be a more hardened Trump-loyalist in his stead.

Cannabis-enthusiasts celebrated the move, despite the fact that it crept the country a step closer to a Constitutional crisis.

[Cannabis legalization inches forward in Mexico]

Trump installed Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ Chief of Staff, as the new acting attorney general, a man who previously questioned the scope of the Mueller investigation against Trump and the Russian probe into the 2016 election; an investigation from which Sessions recused himself. Whitaker made it publicly known, in an op-ed for CNN that he thinks the Mueller investigation has gone too far.

 

Democrats in both chambers of Congress called on fellow lawmakers to protect Mueller’s investigation, while thousands of protestors took to the streets to let the President know they agree with the newly elected House majority on the matter. Still, marijuana advocates (an issue popular among most liberals) are celebrating Mr. Sessions’ departure. After all, he did come down hard on marijuana during his tenure as attorney general.

Stock prices for various marijuana companies shot up, including Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), which saw its stock rise 30 percent, and Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB), both of which shot up 9 percent.

[Heritage Cannabis acquires Cannacure Corp. as new CEO continues to make moves]

Some cannabis industry bigwigs, however, do believe this exuberance is premature, particularly considering a more extreme Trump loyalist is more likely to be more conservative on cannabis.

 

“Jeff Sessions was very against cannabis, so to have Jeff Sessions not in the picture anymore on the surface level seems great for the industry,” Karson Humiston, founder of cannabis recruiting platform Vangst, told Vox. “That said, we’re not sure who the next attorney general will be, so it’s a little early to say it’s good thing or bad.”

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