The Cannabis Industry Is Lobbying Republican Lawmakers More Than Ever

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NEWS byChris Moore

Over the past year, the cannabis industry has redirected the majority of its financial support to Republican lawmakers willing to take a stand for legalization.

Over the past decade, the cannabis industry has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry, succeeding in spite of federal laws that curtail countless aspects of running a canna-business. Much of the industry's initial growth occurred under the Obama administration, but politicians in Trump's White House, particularly AG Jeff Sessions, have rekindled the War on Drugs and threatened the growth of legal weed. Cannabis advocacy groups like NORML have been lobbying for cannabis reform for decades, but now canna-businesses are getting in on the game, funneling increasing amounts of cash into lobbying efforts aimed at convincing Republican lawmakers to protect their industry.

According to a new survey by USA Today, the cannabis industry has been giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to political action committees and campaign finance organizations over the past year. Cannabis-related political contributions were a rare sight before 2014, but cannabis advocates began pouring money into Democratic campaigns between 2014 and 2016. Last year, however, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to crack down on state-legal cannabis, the cannabis industry redirected the majority of their financial support to Republican lawmakers who were willing to take a stand for legalization.

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