Top federal prosecutor in Oregon: Legal Oregon pot businesses 'not targets'
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says the top federal prosecutor in Oregon has assured her that he will not target legal marijuana business in the state.
Brown made the remarks Friday at a summit convened by U.S. Attorney Billy Williams on how to address a surplus of marijuana that's winding up on the black market.
Williams announced the unprecedented meeting of nearly 80 federal, state, local and tribal leaders in law enforcement and the marijuana industry last month.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded a memo on how states with legalized cannabis could avoid federal scrutiny.
Friday's summit was attended by 14 other U.S. attorney's offices, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, the FBI and other federal agencies.
Brown says Williams told her "lawful Oregon businesses" remain "stakeholders" in the conversation and not targets.
But Oregon's top federal prosecutor says the state has a "formidable" problem with marijuana overproduction that winds up on the black market and he wants to work with the state to do something about it.
Williams said that he needs a "bottom-line answer" on how much excess pot is being produced and how much is smuggled out.
Williams laid out his plans for the unprecedented Friday event in a recent newspaper column, saying Oregon has a "massive marijuana overproduction problem" that is attracting cartels and criminal networks and sparking money laundering, violence and environmental woes.
The column came shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month rescinded an Obama administration memo that outlined the steps states with legalized cannabis could take to avoid scrutiny under federal law, where marijuana remains illegal.