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27 Feb

“It’s a serious hindrance,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution who specializes in marijuana policy.

“It creates a scenario in which companies are able to get up and running but not operate like a normal business.” Here are nine ways the federal status of marijuana is affecting both everyday cannabis consumers and people attempting to work in the industry, no matter what their state law says. EMPLOYMENT Since employment in the United States is largely “at-will,” companies can fire workers over marijuana consumption regardless of state or federal laws. 64 explicitly states that California employers remain free to penalize workers who test positive for marijuana use, even if there’s no indication they were high on the job.

But before he could take the tests, Mutual of Omaha sent him a letter saying they couldn’t offer him a policy because they can’t accept premium payments from anyone “associated with the marijuana industry.” A spokesman for the company declined to elaborate.

Other open cannabis enthusiasts have reported issues in getting liability and property insurance for their businesses, health insurance and auto insurance. BANKING While some local banks and credit unions are quietly taking on marijuana businesses, major banks and credit card companies still won’t service the industry out of fear they’ll be penalized for money laundering.

Renters who don’t get federal subsidies can still face eviction even if they’re consuming or growing marijuana in compliance with Prop.

64 if their lease prohibits “illicit” drugs, according to San Diego employment and business lawyer Christina Semmer.

31 because of concern over its role in the cannabis industry.

Doctors worry about losing licenses to practice medicine if they recommend medical marijuana.And attorneys who advise cannabis businesses in compliance with state laws fear they’ll be disbarred since they aren’t allowed to help clients break federal law. HOUSING No one who is in Section 8 or other federally subsidized housing is allowed to use marijuana.“From a federal perspective, marijuana continues to be illegal. How those rules are actually carried out is left up to local housing authorities, Sullivan said.64, the thinking was that California could become a tipping point that would ultimately lead to federal approval of cannabis. For individuals who use cannabis – even for medical reasons – the ongoing conflict with federal law can make it harder to get everything from housing to health care, says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.And for Californians who want to make money in the cannabis industry, the differences between state and federal law can affect how they bank, pay taxes and more.