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There aren't many U.S. Department of Justice officials who would be "rock stars" period, let alone at a San Jose legal cannabis industry expo.
But I'm here to tell you: There was such a star in our midst at this conference…
I'm talking about former Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.
Back in 2013, he was the No. 2 official at the Justice Department who authored the now-famous "Cole Memo."
That memorandum ordered federal agents to leave states with legalized marijuana well enough alone – as long as they had adopted a clear regulatory framework for doing so. The landmark memo gave the states and federal law enforcement a kind of legal modus vivendi for regulated cannabis, allowing each party to "look the other way."
The memo was instrumental in helping a multibillion-dollar legal weed sector take root and thrive.
So it's no surprise that, as a keynote speaker at the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in San Jose July 25-27, Cole was treated like a conquering hero.
I had the chance to catch up with him privately beforehand to hear what he had to say…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.