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Issue Brief Cannabis Legalization and Regulation

New Federal Paradigm in Marijuana Legalization

January 16, 2018


Conflicting activities related to marijuana at state and federal levels raise questions as to whether a new federal/state legal relationship concerning marijuana legalization is forthcoming.

Despite drastic expansion of marijuana legalization throughout U.S. states in recent years, federal guidance issued in January 2018 is at odds with this movement, imparting legal uncertainty on the future of the marijuana industry.

This Issue Brief reviews the current federal legal framework regarding marijuana control and explores possible options for federal, state, and local governments in the near future.