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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 a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.