Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, makers of the top-selling natural brand of soap in the United States, announced on Friday a new donation of $100,000 to voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state that would tax and regulate cannabis. The company’s new donation to the Campaign to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, sponsoring Amendment 64 in Colorado, was $75,000, and the donation to New Approach Washington, sponsoring Initiative 502 in Washington, was $25,000.
Ironically, nothing was donated to Oregon’s Measure 80, which has stronger industrial hemp provisions than either the Colorado or Washington voter initiatives. Measure 80, which contains more protections for cannabis consumers and fewer concessions to law enforcement than A-64 or I-502, unfortunately hasn’t attracted the kind of major financial support from cannabis organizations and industry figures as the other two.
The soap company had given the campaigns $50,000 each in June; left unexplained was why A-64 got three times as much as I-502 this time around. One possibility is that the heated controversy in Washington state, which has split the cannabis community there, creating acrimony that could last for years. While Colorado’s A-64 is not without controversy, the debate there has been calm in comparison to the verbal warfare taking place in Washington, where I-502’s stringent DUI-cannabis provisions and continued ban on home cultivation have incited controversy.
|David Bronner, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps: “Dr. Bronner’s increased financial support of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 because they have a strong chance of passage”
“Dr. Bronner’s increased financial support of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 because they have a strong chance of passage that would unlock the potential for industrial hemp to bolster the American economy,” said David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.
“Overall, the market for hemp fiber and seed products at retail in the U.S. is over $450 million annually,” Bronner said. “Sadly, because hemp has been caught up in this nation’s irrational marijuana prohibition laws, not a penny of that money goes to farmers in the U.S.”
Bronner said he imports more than 20 tons of hemp oil into the U.S. each year from Canada to make his family’s top-selling organic body care products.
According to the hemp farming advocacy group Vote Hemp, the United States is the only industrialized nation on Earth that prohibits the commercial production of industrial hemp, despite the fact that more hemp fiber, seed and oil is imported to the U.S. than to any other country. Industrial hemp refers to non-psychoactive cultivars of cannabis grown for fiber and seed, which was farmed extensively in the U.S. prior to marijuana prohibition in 1937, and then again during World War II for the war effort when the Japanese cut off supply from the Philippines.
“Allowing the legal cultivation and processing of industrial hemp would provide Colorado and Washington with an infusion of new jobs and tax revenue in the near term,” said Michael Bronner, vice president of Dr. Bronner’s. “Our company is ready to invest in developing hemp production in the U.S. It’s up to the voters to unlock real economic potential by voting yes on these hemp propositions this Election Day.”