A cannabis plant tilted sideways from the weight of its heavy cola, pictured inside of a licensed cultivation center in Washington.

Rory Savatgy

High-Powered Lobbying Firms Hired for Cannabis Policy Advocacy in D.C.

The New Federalism Fund, a Denver-based nonprofit dedicated to state’s rights issues, has hired consulting firm Trimpa Group to lobby Congress on issues related to the legal cannabis industry, including banking, taxes, appropriations, and law enforcement issues, according to a report from O’Dwyer’s.

Members of the NFF include Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Arizona-based medical cannabis provider Tryke Companies, Seattle-based cannabis private equity firm Privateer Holdings, Colorado-based dispensaries Medicine Man and LivWell Enlightened Health, and cannabis product manufacturers Native Roots and Dixie Elixirs & Edibles.

Trimpa Group was founded by Ted Trimpa, a Democratic strategist who The Atlantic called “Colorado’s answer to Karl Rove.” Trimpa, who will personally oversee the NFF account, has been credited as a key architect of the Democratic takeover of Colorado’s legislature in 2004 and 2006.

Earlier this year the NFF also retained lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for cannabis advocacy on Capitol Hill. The NFF’s spending on lobbyists comes as Congress prepares to decide the fate of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (formally Rohrabacher-Farr) amendment in the Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Bill. The amendment prohibits the Department of Justice from using federal funds to crack down on state-approved medical cannabis operations and is the only barrier between medical cannabis programs and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Last month, Sessions sent a letter to legislative leaders asking them to oppose the amendment and allow the Justice Department to enforce federal drug laws in legal states.

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