Cannabis companies spent almost $11 million in federal lobbying efforts last year, according to a Cannabis Wire report. The spending is nearly three times what the industry spent in 2018.
Greenwich Biosciences, Curaleaf, Parallel, and the Cannabis Trade Federation each spent more than $1 million on lobbying the federal government in 2019. Greenwich — the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of the cannabis-based pharmaceutical Epidiolex — spent $1.9 million lobbying Congress, the White House, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Cannabis Trade Federation spent $1.7 million on more than 20 cannabis-related bills – including the SAFE Banking Act, which was approved by the House last September. Other measures the organization lobbied for did not receive votes in either legislative chamber.
Massachusetts-based Curaleaf’s lobbying spending totaled $1.4 million and Parallel spent $1.04 million, the report says. Other companies and organizations that spent money on lobbying include the National Cannabis Industry Association, the National Cannabis Roundtable, Canopy Growth, Acreage Holdings, and Trulieve. Collectively, cannabis companies also gave more than $200,000 to federal candidates; Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) raised nearly $30,000 from the industry.
Former TILT Holdings CEO Alex Coleman donated $64,400 to the Republican National Committee. Native Roots Chief Strategies Officer Jonathan Boord, and Lightshade dispensaries owner Steve Brooks, each donated $2,800 to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s committee.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Corey Booker raised about $12,000 from industry executives – mostly from iAnthus – for his presidential campaign.
In 2014, the cannabis industry spent just $80,000 on lobbying efforts, which increased to $300,000 in 2015, to $430,000 in 2016, and to $1.62 million in 2017.
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