When the history of the legal cannabis revolution is written, you can bet James M. Cole will be in there.
If you haven’t figured it out already, Cole is the then-deputy U.S. attorney general who authored the 2013 federal memo shielding states with legalized marijuana from federal intervention.
This was the milestone cannabis companies and their supporters had been waiting for. After all, cannabis remains illegal under U.S. statutes.
The “Cole memo” is cited all the time for a very big reason – it was a signature event that helped the burgeoning legal cannabis industry move into the mainstream.
His name became even better known early this year after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions nixed the Cole memo – essentially shifting federal policy from a hands-off approach to unleashing federal prosecutors across the country to decide whether to crack down on legal marijuana.
So, I’m glad I got the chance to chat personally with Cole regarding his views on the legal cannabis market in advance of his keynote speech next week to a major marijuana conference in Silicon Valley.
I asked Cole about Sessions’ action – and a whole lot more.