Trump Political Appointments and Their Potential Effect on Cannabis Real Estate in California

It is no secret that the new President-Elect of the United States, Donald Trump, has a less than stellar record when it comes to supporting initiatives to legalize the usage of cannabis.  His appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General has left many cannabis activists wondering what the next several years will bring in terms of effects on the burgeoning industry, as well as potential impacts on the pricing and availability of cannabis real estate in California and elsewhere.

On the campaign trail itself, the President-Elect often referred to cannabis usage as a states’ rights issue, which also seems to align with positions he has previously taken in the past.  In general, Mr. Trump seems to prefer a somewhat laissez-faire approach to regulation, leaving it up to individual communities to develop the approach which they prefer. 

There are, however, some worries that Mr. Sessions could take national policy in another direction, given some of his statements on the issue.  If left to the states, one could expect that cannabis real estate in California as well as throughout the rest of the country would largely fall under the umbrella of state law regarding occupancy and zoning requirements.

On the other hand, if a DEA, ATF, and FBI under Attorney General Sessions all take a more robust and proactive approach at the federal level, businesses in all 28 states which have legalized some form of cannabis usage could potentially be left out in the cold.  The availability of cannabis real estate in California and elsewhere would likely rapidly diminish under such a scenario.

In general though, activists remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for further progress towards legalization of cannabis under a Trump administration.  There is widespread sentiment that all of Mr. Trump’s appointees will largely subordinate their personal views to his own, though activists remain open to pursuing other potential avenues as well, including potentially opposing Mr. Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

Given the already widespread public support for the legalization of cannabis, there is additional hope that the Trump administration will soften their policies.  It is unlikely, given the fact that he will already face significant opposition to getting much of anything done that he would choose to make a stand on this issue.  Hopefully that is the case, and as a result the availability of cannabis real estate in California and elsewhere will continue to increase, and that the industry in general will continue to prosper.

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