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What is USCIS's view towards legal medical/recreational marijuana-related EB-5 projects?

Can an EB-5 visa be obtained by investing in medical/recreational marijuana based in legal states? What is USCIS''s adjudication trend towards this category of projects?

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would be very careful to avoid involvement with any illegal drugs as the federal government will harshly punish you. The fact that it is legal in the state you live in, will not help.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Marijuana is illegal under federal law regardless of whether certain states have legalized this industry. Generally, it is not recommended to invest in such projects for EB-5 purposes.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Provided that the project is sound and meets all the four corners of legal requirements for an EB-5 project, as long as the medical/recreational marijuana project is legal under both state and federal law, technically there should not be any issue. As a practical matter, a project like this would have a higher degree of scrutiny and therefore the lengthy process of obtaining the initial approval could take longer.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It would seem to be legal to make an EB-5 investment in a project involved with a use of marijuana in a state in which such marijuana use is legal. However, U.S. CIS is a federal agency run by the Trump administration. I believe that Attorney General Sessions is against state laws which allow recreational use of marijuana. I would discourage you from investing in an EB-5 project which is involved with the use of marijuana.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The short answer is marijuana is still illegal under federal law even if individual states legalize/decriminalize on a local level (the day federal law follows suit would undoubtedly bring an uptick in rural projects).

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    Yazen Abdin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Probably not a good idea. Although some states have legalized marijuana, the federal government has not.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as the business is conducting lawful/authorized activities in the State in which it is located, it should not be a problem for EB-5 purposes.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on the nature of marijuana industry you invest in. If you invest in growing it is not likely to be approved because, legally, the federal government still treats marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In fact, there are vast legal articles and work showing even until now you cannot put the sale proceeds of marijuana in federally insured/regulated banks. Under this scenario, it may be difficult to successfully operate a marijuana investment and still meet the basic requirements of EB-5 investment or even having the USCIS approves the proposal without the involvement of other federal agencies that either quietly oppose or harshly regulate the industry such as the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would be worried investing in anything marijuana related since it remains a controlled substance under federal laws.

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    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since medical/recreational marijuana is still not legal with the Feds, I would not base a direct EB-5 investment on that type of business

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I have no direct experience. However, as marijuana is still illegal under Federal Law I would not recommend it as a business on which to base an EB-5 application.

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    Nelson Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am sure the USCIS would not approve any marijuana-related EB-5 projects. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is perceived to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The Trump administration has authorized prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal laws against the drug in states that have decriminalized its production and sale. In memo to United States Attorneys around the country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote that federal laws banning the production and sale of marijuana "reflect Congress determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime."

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Please note that while recreational marijuana has been legalized in several states, it is still illegal under the Federal laws. Thus, USCIS will not entertain such business as EB-5 eligible.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Marijuana use is still illegal at the Federal level despite many states approving this so not a good idea for foreign nationals to have anything to do with this.

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