Yo, peeps! Check it out, Stat News just dropped a report sayin’ that the cannabis industry’s lobby game ain’t as strong as it used to be. Curaleaf, one of the major players in the industry, cut its spending on lobbying in Washington, D.C., by almost 40% compared to back in 2019. And get this, both Columbia Care and Pax Labs straight-up got rid of their whole damn lobbying teams!
Now, Aaron Smith, the co-founder and CEO of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), ain’t too happy ’bout this trend. He thinks it’s straight-up messed up that businesses be skimpin’ on government relations spending when advocacy is key to the success of the industry.
According to them federal filings that Stat got its hands on, the NCIA only spent $100,000 on lobbying this year. That’s a big drop from the $285,000 they were throwin’ around in the first half of 2019. On the other hand, the U.S. Cannabis Council dropped $150,000 on lobbying in the most recent quarter and plans to keep throwin’ down at least that much goin’ forward. They even started a super PAC to build up a massive and diverse coalition.
The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp also upped its lobbying game a lil’ bit, spendin’ $50,000 this year. Last year they paid $50,000 for a whole damn year of lobbying! But two other groups that were fightin’ for cannabis reforms, the Cannabis Trade Federation and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, looks like they folded completely, according to Stat.
Adam Goers from Columbia Care admitted that even though his company ain’t spendin’ as much on lobbying anymore, they’re still bein’ smart about where they put their resources. See, the cannabis industry got all these regulatory challenges to deal with, so effective lobbying is still hella important for navigatin’ this ever-changing landscape.
Now, let’s talk about how all these changes in the political scene are affectin’ the cannabis lobby. You see, the federal government still treats marijuana like it’s some kind of hardcore Schedule I drug, even though mad states done legalized it for both medicinal and recreational use. This means there’s a huge mismatch between state and federal laws, and that makes it hard for cannabis businesses to invest in lobbying efforts.
And yo, different administrations got different priorities, know what I’m sayin’? So the shit they focus on can totally mess with the trajectory of federal cannabis laws and regulations. This makes it even tougher for cannabis operators to shape policies and advocate for the industry’s interests.
But check this out, as the cannabis industry keeps growin’ and changin’, effective lobbying is gonna be crucial for influencin’ them federal lawmakers and policymakers. They gotta push for federal marijuana reform, sort out all them banking and tax issues, and deal with all the other crazy regulations. So even though spending on lobbying is down right now, it just shows that they gotta be smart about their advocacy efforts if they wanna see the long-term success of the cannabis industry.
Now let’s talk about some of the challenges these cannabis operators be facin’ when it comes to effective lobbying. First off, there ain’t no consistent federal regulations for this shit. It’s all over the place! This makes it super hard for the industry to grow and attract investments. So they gotta focus on fightin’ for clear and comprehensive federal regulations that match up with what’s happenin’ at the state level. They need some stability in this wild world, you feel me?
Another big challenge is the difference between state and federal laws. They gotta work on getting a federal law that respects each state’s right to do its own thing when it comes to weed. If they can support bills like that, it’ll get them more support from lawmakers and bridge the gap between state and federal laws.
And let’s not forget about all them messed-up banking and tax regulations. Right now, cannabis businesses can’t get proper banking services, and they gotta deal with some crazy-ass tax code that don’t make no sense. They gotta push for fair and equal treatment in these areas so they can grow their businesses and compete with other industries.
Now, here’s where things get real, fam. If these cannabis industry players keep cuttin’ their lobbying spending, it’s gonna have a big impact on the industry as a whole. Without enough resources goin’ into lobbying, they ain’t gonna make much progress on federal marijuana reform. They won’t be able to push for decriminalization, fair taxation, or better access to financial services. And that means the industry ain’t gonna grow as fast and the regulations are gonna be less friendly.
It’s also gonna make it harder for cannabis businesses to deal with all the banking and financial issues they face. They need proper access to financial services so they can run their businesses like normal. And yo, they gotta keep pushin’ for social equity and inclusion in the industry. They gotta address all the historical injustices caused by weed prohibition and make sure the industry is diverse and fair. But without enough funding for lobbying, they might lose momentum on these important social justice issues.
So listen up, folks. The decline in lobbying spending by the cannabis industry is a sign of the tough times they’re goin’ through in this ever-changing political landscape. Some players are cuttin’ back, but others are still fightin’. But if they wanna see real change happen and ensure the success of the cannabis industry in the U.S., they gotta keep pushin’ for federal marijuana reform, better financial access, and a more inclusive industry. Effective lobbying is the key to makin’ it happen, my friends.