Two major trade groups representing the cannabis industry, the Cannabis Trade Federation and the National Cannabis Industry Association, have a combined total of more than $3 million in their war chests. The money is set aside for the purpose of pressuring Washington D.C. lawmakers to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.
CTF is said to have more than $2 million, while NCIA has $1.3 million set aside for lobbying and “public affairs”. Interestingly, although both groups have expressed their support for a variety of federal cannabis legislation, each has been talking up a different bill. Both are expected to push for Senate committee hearings and a potential Fall 2019 vote on the Senate floor for their team’s bill. That is according to the producer of Denver-based CBOutlook trade seminars Dr. Lloyd Convens.
Dr. Covens, who is also the editor of West420 Newsweekly, asked in his recent industry intelligence report, “Is this D.C. positioning spilling out into a full-blown industry division . . . potentially setting up two competing messages to Congress on how best to arrive at national legalization?” According to Covens, both claim they are “the most representative of best outcomes for leading legalization efforts.”
Neil Levine, CTF organizer and former NCIA board member, has said, “We want to bring as many allies together as possible to pool the resources necessary to pass the STATES [Gardner/Warren] Act.” A CTF white paper covering the STATES Act can be found here.
Levine has recruited 24 cannabis mega-companies—each paying $100,000 for a seat at the table. $2 million of that is being used to hire D.C. heavy hitters like Brownstein Hyatt Farber, The Raben Group, Navigators Global, and Jochum Shore & Trossevin. Levine has also recruited an internal team, which includes cannabis politico Heather Azzi, recently-defeated Republican Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo, and