Data: Abandoning the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment Would Place 2 Million Patients at Risk

December 7, 2017

What We Learned:  Before the federal budget extension in December 2017, a look into the impacts of not renewing the amendment spelled bad news for legal cannabis patients.

Washington – New Frontier Data, the leading provider of data, analytics and business intelligence for the cannabis industry, has been tracking the key indicators and disruptors to the cannabis market and monitoring how the market will be affected if Congress fails to re-up Rohrabacher-Blumenauer. Not renewing Rohrabacher-Blumenauer would put almost two million patients at risk of federal prosecution in states that have passed medical cannabis laws.

“The current medical cannabis market across 30 states is worth $5.3 billion and encompasses almost two million patients. Without the protections of Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, the entire medical cannabis industry, supporting businesses and patients that rely on cannabis for medical purposes would be at risk of federal prosecution. Continued uncertainty around cannabis legality vs. illegality or state vs. federal laws creates significant socio-economic risk beyond the cannabis industry; it would degrade investor confidence in one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S., while also driving law-abiding patients across 30 states to fill their medicine in the black market, creating a nationwide problem.

In fact, very recent events highlight the potential socio-economic risk of eliminating Rohrabacher-Blumenauer. In February 2017, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on distinctions between medical and adult use cannabis and how those distinctions might color DOJ’s plans to enforce prohibition laws. Those comments contributed to a dramatic market slide that saw the value of publicly traded cannabis companies decline more than 40 percent over the following two months; difficult numbers to ignore. Furthermore, perceived risk of federal intervention and lack of permanence in medical cannabis legislation recently also drove Governor Paul LePage to veto the already voter-approved adult use cannabis measure in Maine,” said New Frontier Data CEO and founder Giadha Aguirre De Carcer.

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment prohibits the Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws. It passed the House in May 2014 after six previously failed attempts, becoming law in December 2014 as part of an omnibus spending bill. The passage of the amendment was the first time either chamber of Congress had voted to protect medical cannabis patients, and is viewed as a historic victory for cannabis reform advocates at the federal level. The amendment must be renewed each fiscal year to remain in effect.

  • Total U.S. patient population (not including CBD states) is 1,914,767.
  • Medical cannabis sales are projected to be $5.3 billion for 2017 growing to $13.2 billion by 2025.
  • The medical cannabis market is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 12%.
  • 94% of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis according to Quinnipiac University.


About New Frontier Data:

New Frontier Data provides objective, rigorous and comprehensive analysis and reporting for the nascent and underserved cannabis industry. New Frontier’s data and reports have been cited in over 65 countries around the world to inform industry leaders. New Frontier, the premiere Big Data shop in the sector looks beyond the plant cultivation and distribution, to raise the industry bar and improve visibility into what will inevitably soon be a mature and more complex industry. Founded in 2014, New Frontier is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has additional offices in Denver.

New Frontier Data does not take a position on the merits of cannabis legalization. Rather, its mission and mandate is to inform cannabis – related policy and business decisions through rigorous, issue-neutral and comprehensive analysis of the legal cannabis industry. For more information or media inquiries, please visit or contact our PR team:


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