The Obama administration still hasn't decided on how the federal government will respond to the new legal-marijuana laws passed by voters in Colorado and Washington.
But the Attorney General believes a policy decision will be announced soon.
The measures set up systems of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and retail stores.
But marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and state laws can be struck down.
The justice department could sue the states in an attempt to block the licensing schemes from taking effect.