Search Results: lobbyists (39)

“We kill your liver!”

Marijuana is safer than alcohol. It’s a simple message based in a lot of truths. But Big Alcohol doesn’t like that, nor do they like the insinuation that their legal product leads to more violence, health issues and social problems than cannabis.
“We’re not against legalization of marijuana, we just don’t want to be vilified in the process,” an anonymous alcohol lobbyist tells the National Journal this week. “We don’t want alcohol to be thrown under the bus, and we’re going to fight to defend our industry when we are demonized.”

As the cannabis industry grows, so does the push for full legalization. Adding muscle is the new Cannabis Trade Federation, a group of well-connected lobbyists that represents some of the country’s strongest cannabis brands, including LivWell and Dixie Elixirs, in Washington, D.C.

One member of the CTF, Melissa Kuipers Blake, is based in Denver, working for legal and lobbying powerhouse Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. We recently caught up with Kuipers Blake to chat about the 2020 elections, pot’s lobbying power and more.

A collective effort by several marijuana business groups could help bring social pot use to Colorado dispensaries, hotels, music venues and dozens of other types of businesses — if the concept makes it through the state legislature.

Marijuana industry lobbyists, tourism companies, lounge owners and dispensary representatives are planning to submit a marijuana hospitality bill to lawmakers that will propose creating two new business licenses that would allow social marijuana use in a manner similar to alcohol use.

Momentum for federal cannabis reform may be slowing down under the current presidential administration, but the industry has never had more lobbyists in Washington, D.C., than it does now. And few have been lobbying longer than the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which visited Capitol Hill last week to advocate for a number of pot-friendly bills and amendments.

Legalizing medical and recreational marijuana may have seemed like the end of a long journey for consumers, but it was just the beginning of a vigorous regulatory obstacle course for advocates, lobbyists and industry members. As state and local governments continue to “build a plane as we fly it,” to quote former Colorado marijuana czar Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division wants your input during its next round of stakeholder meetings – but only if you know your shit.

In a move that political pundits and cable news carnival barkers are calling a “bi-partisan victory” the U.S. Senate narrowly avoided another damaging government shutdown by passing a last-minute multilayered spending bill over the weekend to keep the gears turning in Washington D.C. until at least September of next year.
To see just how convoluted and counterproductive our political process has become, you need look no further than this spending bill, and buried deep within in it, one Republican’s response to the weed legalization movement that he sees surging through state politics, including the nation’s capital.

Colorado Supreme Court chambers.


The Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow on whether or not employers should be able to fire employees for using cannabis off-work. The case stems from Brandon Coats, a former DISH Network phone operator who was fired from his job in 2010 after he failed a test for marijuana. Coates, who was left in a wheelchair for life after a car accident as a teen, says he only uses the cannabis off work and that his employer fired him inappropriately.
Colorado business officials and the state Attorney General’s office have come out in support of DISH’s decision, but a group of vocal Colorado advocates have jumped in on Coates’ side and are imploring the courts to decide for patients and not for big business interests.


Colorado tax records for July show that recreational dispensaries in the state pulled in $28,921,068 in July, while medical sales only generated $28,313,034 — roughly a $608,000 difference and the first time that rec sales have outpaced medical.
So how much is that in weed? At around $400 an ounce at a number of recreational retail stores, it comes out to about 93 pounds.


Earlier this month, high-ranking folks from the health department staffers gave an all-day presentation about pot. They urged the public to take a look at the first draft of rules governing the program, as well as the application for growers, and be honest.
In response, the DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, whose lobbyists played a key role in getting legislation passed here, submitted a six-page critique. The goal, writes Robert Capecchi, a deputy director, should be to avoid regulating the growers out of business while offering protections for patients and the facilities that produce the medicine.


At the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention in Duluth last month, 1076 delegates cast ballots related to the party’s 2014-15 action agenda. Resolutions ranged from taxes to veterans to recreational cannabis.
This last one needed 619 votes to pass, but ended up with 603, according to tally takers. In other words, the activists who guide policy for the DFL — the party that currently controls the House, the Senate and the governor’s office — were 16 votes shy of making recreational cannabis a legislative priority for the next two years. That comes out to a mere 1.5 percent.

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