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Amazon lobbies US government on cannabis, report says

7/21/21--Amazon lobbied the U.S. government on cannabis policy during the second quarter of this year, Business Insider reported. The report did not detail exactly which aspects of cannabis policy were the focus of Amazon’s recent lobbying activity. However, Seattle-headquartered Amazon announced in June that it would actively support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). At the same time, Amazon announced it would stop screening employees in many positions for cannabis usage. Read

Amazon, investment banks, and even big tobacco are spending millions of dollars to try to get favorable marijuana laws

7/21/21--A record number of special interests that for the first time included tech giant Amazon lobbied on cannabis from April to June this year as legalization talks heated up on Capitol Hill, an Insider analysis of new lobbying disclosures found. Wall Street analysts say the legal cannabis market could be worth over $100 billion in the US alone by the end of the decade, and corporations from the medical, consumer, and financial services sectors are all competing for a slice — and the ability to shape how the industry is regulated from the start. Read

The local cannabis industry is becoming a bigger player in politics

4/29/21--KPBS News posts on Twitter that the local cannabis industry is becoming a bigger player in politics. It contributed more than $300,000 in the most recent election cycle to candidates who support looser restrictions on their operations. Read

How Airbnb and Uber use activist tactics that disguise their corporate lobbying as grassroots campaigns

4/15/21--In addition to traditional lobbying, some digital platforms have been cultivating corporate “grassroots lobbying” initiatives in which they resource and mobilize their users to lobby for deregulation or to block proposals or sanctions from government. They do this by using civil-society practices such as online petitions addressed to politicians, one-on-one meetings with representatives, protests, and partnerships with existing civil society groups. Read

Chicago-based marijuana giant part of federal pay-to-play investigation

3/29/21--Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based marijuana cultivator and dispenser that has rapidly grown into one of the nation’s biggest pot firms, is under federal investigation for possible pay-to-play violations during its push for coveted state licenses. The investigation is the first Chicago-based federal inquiry to come to light in what’s been called the “green wave” of marijuana decriminalization. Read

ATACH forms cannabis beverage council aimed at expanding canna-drinks segment

1/27/21--The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) announced the formation of ATACH's Cannabis Beverage Council. The Council will bring together the most established cannabis and beverage leaders focused on expanding the cannabis beverage market. Read

Drop in political funding by MPP illustrates shift toward marijuana trade groups, MSOs

10/26/20--The Marijuana Policy Project has long been a leader in funding cannabis reform at the state and federal levels, but the current election season demonstrates that MPP’s role is shifting in a significant way – toward a more collaborative position with industry trade associations and large MJ companies. Read

Marijuana legalization proponents outraising opponents 36-to-1 in 2020

10/27/20--Financial support for marijuana legalization, both medical and recreational, has grown significantly in 2020 compared to 2016. Proponents of state ballot measures have outraised opponents this election season by almost 36-to-1, a massive increase from four years ago when advocates outstripped the opposition by only 4-to-1. Read

Pot initiative cash battle: Industry versus rich conservatives

10/22/20--The campaign to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in Arizona, Proposition 207, was recharged with nearly $1.47 million in late-summer donations, while the campaign against the initiative, Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, raised about $298,000, roughly one-fifth of the pro-cannabis side in that in the same time period. Its donations came largely from wealthy conservatives. Read

Drop in political funding by MPP illustrates shift toward marijuana trade groups, MSOs

10/26/20--Although The Marijuana Policy Project has long been a leader in funding cannabis reform at the state and federal levels, the current election season demonstrates that MPP’s role is shifting in a significant way – toward a more collaborative position with industry trade associations and large MJ companies. Read

With eye on election and beyond, marijuana industry spends millions on lobbying

10/12/20--According to an article published in Marijuana Business Daily, if Congress moves closer to passing a bill to legalize marijuana, it’s likely lobbying efforts and spending will intensify, given that a crucial question is how the federal government would regulate a national cannabis industry. Read

Federal lobbying on cannabis dipped in the first part of 2020

4/29/20--Federal lobbying expenses by cannabis and hemp organizations fell slightly during the first quarter of 2020, according to a Cannabis Wire analysis of disclosure reports. But cannabis companies have ratcheted up their efforts  in recent weeks as federal lawmakers  work to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read

Opinion | Despite COVID’s threat, Polis, Hancock capitulate to the pot lobby

4/21/20--In an op-ed published in Colorado Politics, Luke Niforatos, chief of staff and senior policy adviser at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), discusses Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis decision to restrict marijuana businesses to operating on a curbside or takeout-style service only. As a result, the industry quickly revolted and Polis completely caved allowing full indoor sales to carry on as usual. It took even less time for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to appease the influential marijuana lobby. Read

Florida: Cannabis companies spent big to lobby in 2019. What about 2020?

3/30/20--Cannabis businesses, which have increasingly turned to Florida’s rapidly growing market, spent $3.7 million on lobbying in the state in 2019—more than double the year before—according to a Cannabis Wire analysis. The trend of spending heavily on lobbying in Florida was expected to continue in 2020, but the economic damage from the coronavirus crisis is likely deep and lasting enough to seriously trim the industry’s sails. Read

Who’s spending the most to legalize marijuana

2/2/20--Major marijuana players have been spending big to influence pot policy in New York. Most are multistate companies that already have a foothold in the Empire State through medical marijuana, and would likely have a leg up in the recreational market under the current proposals. Read

Pot and public servants

11/17/19--Records released through SB32 this spring reveal a number of former lawmakers and lobbyists on the list of owners and board members of marijuana companies. Among them are two who reached speaker, the highest post in the Assembly, but had become lobbyists by the time the Legislature authorized dispensaries. The Cannabis Files features some notable names in the political realm who are leaders in the cannabis industry. Read  

The incredibly large lobbying footprint of Greenwich Biosciences

10/23/19--Greenwich Biosciences, the United States subsidiary of the British GW Pharmaceuticals, registered to lobby in every single state in the country—including ones where all forms of cannabis are prohibited—over the last three years. Greenwich has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2019 alone on its state-level lobbying activities, mostly on issues related such as “scheduling of FDA approved cannabidiol drugs,” “drugs and controlled substances,” “pharmaceuticals,” “healthcare,” and “health insurance,” according to lobbying disclosures. Read

Cannabis business news you may have missed for the week ending Feb. 15

2/15/19--U.S. Congressional hearing on marijuana banking boost industry's hopes for reform, California announces the National Guard Troop will combat marijuana grows, legal marijuana sales top $6 billion in Colorado -- plus other important news from around the marijuana industry. Read