From The Highest Of Highs: Pot Industry Faces Uncertainty Under Trump

Listen Now
Photo: Brookings On Pot (1)
Budtender Miles Claybourne sorts strains of marijuana for sale into glass containers at The Station, a retail and medical cannabis dispensary, in Boulder, Colo., Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.

When Californians legalized recreational marijuana last November, experts said it wouldn't be long before pot would be legalized all across the country. Some five months later that opinion has changed drastically.


Whether it's comments from new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has characterized marijuana as a "dangerous" drug, or White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said states, like Colorado, with legalized pot may come under special scrutiny from the federal government, the landscape has changed.

That has left the multi-billion dollar --and growing -- industry in a strange place, according to John Hudak, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. But while comments from the new administration indicate potential change, Hudak says that the fact that no actions have been taken to this point could mean that marijuana may not be a front-burner priority.

"Anyone who tells you they 'know' what's going to happen next is selling you a false basket of goods," Hudak says.

Hudak spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.