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Massachusetts Marijuana Regulator Says Prosecutor's Guidance Adds Clarity

Head grower Mark Vlahos, of Milford, Mass., tends to cannabis plants, Thursday, July 12, 2018, at Sira Naturals medical marijuana cultivation facility, in Milford, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)
Head grower Mark Vlahos, of Milford, Mass., tends to cannabis plants, Thursday, July 12, 2018, at Sira Naturals medical marijuana cultivation facility, in Milford, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)

Massachusetts' top marijuana regulator says U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's most recent guidance on federal enforcement of marijuana laws should provide some "clarity" at a crucial time when the state is nearing the start of retail sales.

Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steven Hoffman is suggesting that Lelling's latest statement, issued Tuesday, marks a return of sorts to the principals of the Cole Memorandum. That's a reference to the U.S. Justice Department's 2013 guidance to states on non-interference with recreational marijuana laws.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum in January, prompting concerns of a federal crackdown on legal pot.

Lelling indicated in his statement that his office would likely limit its focus to enforcing laws against drug trafficking, illegal out-of-state distribution of marijuana and illegal sales to minors.

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