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How the Justice Department reversing Obama-era policy might impact community radio.

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened the door for federal prosecutors to individually decide how to pursue charges for marijuana distribution, possession and growing. Previously, Obama’s Department of Justice took a non-interference stance, paving the way for pot legalization in several states. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Several community radio stations have asked about the issue of accepting underwriting from cannabis businesses, dispensaries and related pot industries.

Since community broadcasters are still licensed on the federal level, underwriting for substances prohibited by federal law creates many issues. The latest Department of Justice decision may mean stepped up enforcement and prosecution for marijuana. Station may want to proceed with caution.

Further details are available to NFCB member stations. NFCB provides legal guidance and many resources to member stations in its Solution Center. If you are with a member station and need access, just get in touch. If you are not with a member station, you can join NFCB today.

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