CSE Requests Comments from Issuers with U.S. Marijuana-Related Activities on Impact of Cole Memorandum Rescission

The U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) published a memorandum on August 29, 2013 (the “Cole Memorandum”) indicating a policy shift of government priorities away from strict enforcement of federal cannabis prohibitions in those U.S. states that have “enacted laws legalizing marijuana in some form and that have also implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana.” On January 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions issued a subsequent memorandum (the “Sessions Memorandum”) pursuant to which the DOJ emphasized the seriousness of marijuana-related crimes and consequently revoked the Obama-era policy outlined in the Cole Memorandum that eased enforcement of federal cannabis laws.

In light of these developments in the U.S., the Canadian Securities Exchange (the “CSE”) contacted certain issuers with assets or operations in the U.S. cannabis industry requesting additional details and clarification on how the Sessions Memorandum could potentially impact their business operations. To date, those issuers who have responded state they do not anticipate material changes to their operations as the Sessions Memorandum preserves the discretion of local U.S. district attorneys to determine whether and how to enforce federal laws.

The CSE continues to monitor changes in the U.S. cannabis landscape.