Sessions will review and potentially roll back aspects of the Cole memo, a set of guidelines established in 2013 that direct the Department of Justice to focus marijuana enforcement efforts on violent crimes and distribution in states without legalization laws. Speaking out on the issue for one of the first times in his new position Monday, Sessions claimed there is "more violence around marijuana" than people are generally aware.

Sessions also dismissed research Tuesday showing marijuana can help aid opioid addiction and serve as alternative painkiller for patients with chronic pain.

If Sessions and the Trump administration move to interfere with state pot laws, it could cost the marijuana industry hundreds of thousands of jobs. A report released in February by New Frontier Data projects that an unimpeded marijuana market will create more than 250,000 jobs by 2020. The booming projections for growth stand in stark contrast to manufacturing jobs, which are expected to crater by more than 800,000 by 2024.

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