Former GOP lawmakers are the face of the marijuana blitz

Mar 2012
58,918
40,389
New Hampshire
Pushing hard for legalization.

Former Republican lawmakers are becoming the face of a new marijuana lobbying blitz.

This year, both former Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), who lost reelection bids in 2018, have signed on with marijuana companies. They are following former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has been an active advocate for the cannabis industry since leaving Congress.

For the booming industry, turning to former GOP lawmakers is an important step to expand their support in Congress.
Curbelo became a strategic adviser for the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF), a nonprofit for cannabis education and advocacy, in February. Rohrabacher joined cannabis company BudTrader as a shareholder and advisory board member in May.

Boehner retired from Congress in 2015 and in April 2018 joined the board of Acreage Holdings, a publicly traded cannabis company based in New York. He was also named honorary chairman of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an organization to lobby for pro-marijuana policy, this February.

Curbelo is more optimistic about the prospects for cannabis reform in Congress. “It’s still an uphill battle and given how gridlocked Congress is generally, it’s not going to be easy, but there’s a growing consensus on, at the very least, ending the conflict between state cannabis laws and federal cannabis laws,” he said.

Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz