KELOWNA, BC, Jan. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - Marapharm Ventures Inc. "Marapharm" is pleased to present its views along with state government comments in response to the Department of Justice's memo regarding marijuana enforcement policies for the United States, specifically for Nevada. Marapharm owns 9 cultivation, production, and delivery licenses and properties in Nevada. Marapharm is the largest holder of licenses with more than 300,000 square feet of medical and of recreational use licenses in Las Vegas.
The Department of Justice announcement is generating much needed discourse on the cannabis issue and may ultimately help the cannabis industry to lobby for some major changes at the federal level. For several years marijuana laws have been dealt with at state level. Eight states have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Twenty-nine states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. In August 2017, a Quinnipiac poll found national support for cannabis was 94%. In October 2017, Marijuana Business Daily estimated that there were recreational marijuana sales of $1.2 in Nevada each day and that the market was growing rapidly.
"Marapharm's understanding of what Jeff Sessions said is that he did not actually announce that there would be a crackdown on cannabis businesses, but rather that it would be left to the discretion of the local US attorneys in the various districts to decide how and when to enforce federal laws. This does not amount to much of a change in policy and makes the announcement seem unnecessary. With regard to medical cannabis, since 2014 the federal budget has prohibited the government from using federal funds to prosecute medical cannabis businesses pursuant to a budget rider championed by US Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a Republican.
Marapharm believes that the administration and the Department of Justice will uphold President Trump's campaign promise to not interfere with state-legal cannabis programs. Accordingly, we are on fast forward with growth in the United States. It's good business practice to diversify which is why we are investing resources in both medical marijuana as well as recreational. In addition, we are implementing changes to fast track our Canadian application and are looking at acquisitions in Europe as well."Linda Sampson, Marapharm CEO.
NOTABLE QUOTES RELATING TO NEVADA'S POLITICAL POSITION:
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a Republican, said in a statement he reiterates that he pledged to defend the law after it was approved by voters.
"Since Questions 2's enactment, my office has vigorously defended it against two related lawsuits that threatened to slow or even halt the implementation of the law, and has further assisted with the formulation and adoption of regulations to allow dispensaries to commence sales of recreational marijuana within just six months of the law's enactment," Laxalt said in a statement.
"My office has expeditiously facilitated the implementation of the law in the face of considerable uncertainty about the status of federal enforcement activity."
Nevada governor and Republican Brian Sandoval released a statement, calling Nevada's marijuana industry a model for other states.
"Since Nevada voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, I have called for a well-regulated, restricted and respected industry. My administration has worked to ensure these priorities are met while implementing the will of the voters and remaining within the guidelines of both the Cole and Wilkinson federal memos," he said.
U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, released a statement regarding the memo. "Attorney General Sessions says he is a headstrong advocate for states' rights. However, his decision giving free rein to federal prosecutors to target the cannabis industry in states where voters and legislatures have chosen to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana exposes his hypocrisy," Cortez Masto said in a statement. "In states like Nevada, voters have spoken loud and clear that marijuana must be regulated and taxed, and that the state should be able to enforce its marijuana laws without federal interference. By rescinding the Cole memo, this administration is trampling on the will of Nevadans and creating unnecessary confusion for our state. I call on the Attorney General to reinstate the memo and work with Congress to ensure we respect the will of states while ensuring prosecutorial resources are used effectively."
Republican Senator Dean Heller noted Sessions' deference to states' rights in his statement. "Knowing Attorney General Sessions' deference to states' rights, I strongly encourage the DOJ to meet with Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt to discuss the implications of changes to federal marijuana enforcement policy," he said. "I also urge the DOJ to work with the congressional delegations from states like Nevada that have legalized marijuana as they review and navigate the new policy."
Democrat and Las Vegas-area Representative Dina Titus also released a statement. She is a founder of the House Cannabis Caucus. "This latest move from Attorney General Sessions and the Trump Administration is a direct attack on the State of Nevada, sovereign tribal governments, and the rights of people in states, tribes, and territories all across the United States," Titus said. "The decision to rescind the Cole and Wilkinson memos undermines Nevada's$622 million-dollar industry, threatens nearly $1 billion in new investments, and jeopardizes thousands of new jobs and more than $60 million dollars in tax revenue for the State."
Democratic Representative Jacky Rosen released a statement calling the decision a "federal overreach. "Nevadans made it clear at the ballot box in 2016 that they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, and their decision should stand," Rosen said. "Local changes in marijuana policy in recent years have resulted in millions of dollars in new revenue for Nevada's state budget, thousands of new jobs, and countless medical benefits for Nevadans suffering from PTSD, cancer, and other illnesses.
"This federal overreach by President Trump's Department of Justice will create uncertainty and confusion for Nevadans. These reported actions are an insult to Nevada voters, an affront to states' rights, and a threat to our local economy."
Danny Tarkanian, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in 2018, noted the will of the people in his statement." Regardless of how you personally feel about marijuana use, the citizens of Nevada have spoken. They voted to not just legalize medical marijuana, but recreational, as well," he said. "It's a decision Nevadans made for the State of Nevada and the federal government needs to recognize and honor our 10th Amendment right to do so. It's time for Big Brother to back off.
Representative Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat, also released a statement on the ruling. "Secretary Sessions' decision clashes with the will of hundreds of thousands of Nevadans and millions of Americans who have voted in favor of marijuana legalization," he said. "Mr. Sessions and the Department of Justice are reversing a years-long policy of respecting the rights of states in order to take out a personal vendetta on an industry that has sold nearly $130 million worth of product in Nevada and brought in $20 million in tax revenue to the state since July. This decision will not only impact the marijuana industry and the thousands of jobs it is creating, but it will put at risk a stable source of vital tax revenue for our state."
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a Democrat who is running for Nevada governor, also noted the economic impact.
"The people of Nevada have already spoken on legalized marijuana. Those in need of medicinal marijuana finally had access to relief. Entrepreneurs are now building businesses, hiring workers and paying taxes that will benefit the entire state," he said in a statement. "Now the Trump Administration wants to create a costly and confusing process to overrule the will of the voters and undo what has been a success so far. We cannot and will not stand for this or any threat by the Trump Administration to undo progress in Nevada."
Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, a Democrat running for governor, called the decision "wrong" in a statement. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions is attempting to impose his personal agenda over the will of the more than 600,000 Nevadans who voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use," she said. "It's an egregious overstep by the federal government — and it puts millions of dollars in funding for public education in jeopardy.
We don't need this uncertainty for local dispensaries or the threat of wasting law enforcement resources on locking up non-violent drug offenders. Marijuana should be removed from Schedule 1 classification immediately."
Nevada state Sen. Aaron Ford, the Senate majority leader and candidate for Nevada attorney general, said the policy protects the state's marijuana industry from "overzealous federal intrusion" and rescinding it "could cost Nevada millions of dollars in revenue, kill jobs, and hurt our schools and local economy. "This clear example of federal government overreach is nothing more than an attempt to infringe on our state's sovereignty and is a direct insult to the Nevadans who voted in favor of a regulated marijuana industry," he said in a statement. "Nevada's burgeoning marijuana business sector has already created close to 7,000 new jobs and generated $19 million in revenue from marijuana taxes -- millions of which are deposited into the Distributive School Account for our children. "As Nevada attorney general, I will do everything within my power to defend our state's voter-approved and regulated industry and send a clear message to Attorney General Sessions and the Trump Administration that they should stay out of Nevada's business."
Marapharm is a publicly traded company investing in the medical and recreational cannabis space, since 2014. Marapharm has rapidly expanded to include having cultivation, production and dispensary locations in the key North American states of Washington, Nevada, and California, and are seeking expansion opportunities worldwide.
Marapharm trades in Canada, ticker symbol MDM on the CSE, in the United States, ticker symbol MRPHF on the OTCQB, and in Europe, ticker symbol 2Mo on the FSE. Marapharm also trades on other recognized platforms in Europe including Stuttgart, Tradegate, L & S, Quotnx, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Berlin.
Neither the CSE, the FSE nor the OTCQB® has approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. Neither the CSE, the FSE nor the OTCQB® accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
MARIJUANA INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT:
Canadian listings (CSE) will remain in good standing as long as they provide the disclosure that is rightly required by regulators and complying with applicable licensing requirements and the regulatory framework enacted by the applicable state in which they operate.
Marapharm owns marijuana licenses in California and Nevada. Marijuana is legal in each state however marijuana remains illegal under US federal law and the approach to enforcement of US federal law against marijuana is subject to change. Shareholders and investors need to be aware that adverse enforcement actions could affect their investments and that Marapharm's ability to access private and public capital could be affected and or could not be available to support continuing operations. Marapharm's business is conducted in a manner consistent with state law and is in compliance with licensing requirements.
Copies of licenses are posted on Marapharm's website. Marapharm has internal compliance procedures in place and has compliance focused attorneys engaged in jurisdictions to monitor changes in laws for compliance with US federal and state law on an ongoing basis. These law firms inform any necessary changes to our policies and procedures for compliance in Canada and the US.
FORWARD - LOOKING STATEMENTS:
Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", 'may", "will", "project", "should", 'believe", and similar expressions are intended to identify forward- looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward- looking statements are based on reasonable assumption but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and the forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon.
SOURCE Marapharm Ventures Inc.
For further information: www.marapharm.com or Linda Sampson, CEO, 778-583-4476, email [email protected]