The recreational marijuana industry is but a bud in the field of economics. Already those in the pot industry are looking to stretch their reach into the political field as well.
It seems that individuals from many different fields and stages from politics and candidates to financial backers and supporters are in support of this very cause.
Today’s political scene is dramatically different to that of just a few Short years ago. Where once politicians wouldn’t be seen or associated with marijuana or even just talks thereof avoided, today brings us a very different scene. In today’s political scene we have politicians in the Golden State that have solid ties to cannabis commerce or donors that have ties therein. The Weed legalisation movement has seen a huge surge in support and this has been welcomed with (mostly) open arms from the public.
Records from finance since 2001 indicate that donors with ties to the marijuana industry have contributed approximately $830, 000. This contribution was delivered to individuals who were attempting to become a part of the state office. Interestingly enough, approximately one third of this total sum was delivered in the previous three years alone.
However, it seems that this figure is not nearly the total amount that was actually donated. What this tally does not factor in is the sums of monies donated to the local politicians and leaders and it does not factor in the donations to those that were going for a position in the federal state office. Another more obvious fact is that it is impossible to count every dollar donated by an individual that did have ties to the cannabis industry or who just simply wished to see cannabis as a legalised industry with all the business potential it could bring in.
Proposition 64, where the cannabis campaign really got its push it needed, was a ballot in 2016 that was approved by voters. This ballet measure was the stepping stone for legal cannabis to become a reality and it had approximately $23, 5 million injected into the campaign for public awareness and to advertise the program and proposal.
Marcia Goodwin is a professor at the University of La Verne and she admits that what we are witnessing is the dawn of a new era in politics, particularly marijuana and the state of California.
Goodwin says that the first part of the initiative, in 1990, was mostly funded by a handful of rich donors who were optimistic about cannabis and the opportunities that legalisation would bring.
During the years that followed more and more people began to see cannabis in a different light and groups supporting the legalisation of cannabis began to materialise. These groups were more often than not connected in some way to the businesses that were medical cannabis dispensaries.
In today’s day, we find that bigger corporations are moving in and showing interest in the industry.
Along with Rick Hasen, University of California’s Irvine law professor, Goodwin admits that there is a strong connection between the cannabis market and the alcohol and tobacco markets. This connection is evident in the money and support coming in to the movement from donors.
The corporations that are looking to marijuana for economic growth and development need the government and regulations to allow them this room and legalisation for growth. The corporations are becoming involved in the marijuana campaign for the monetary and business gains that they see as potential.
The big corporations and donators are injecting finances into the campaign in an effort to assist the complete legalisation of the herb. In addition, the fact that cannabis is still illegal on a federal level is a huge hiccup for the industries and their new business plans. On the other side of this, the very fact that at federal level marijuana is still declared illegal give even more reason for the corporations to inject even more money towards politicians and influencers. At the end of the day the industry donators are looking to swing the vote in favour of marijuana legalisation.
Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech, has admitted that it is imperative that marijuana becomes an integral part of politics. Terra Tech is a company with stakes in the marijuana industry as it has several cannabis related businesses in and around the states of California and Nevada.
Another Irvine based business is a large website called Weedmaps. This very site provides users with reviews of cannabis dispensaries and assists patrons in finding the perfect cannabis dispensary for their needs. Weedmaps is the trip advisor of the weed world and provides thousands of dollars to politics. This financial donation is given to various individuals at all levels of politics.
This company, Weedmaps, started out as a small website company about a decade ago and Christopher Beals, the president and founder of the company, has said that getting marijuana legalised has been an integral part of the company since its birth all those years ago.
Both Peterson and Beals have said that they provide the financial injection to individuals who have shown positive support for marijuana and by making such donations, these politicians can be supported enough to keep on promoting cannabis.
The main concern is that politics and politicians have been and will continue to be making laws and regulations for cannabis and the marijuana industry. Donators such as Beals and Peterson are encouraging marijuana supportive politicians because it is imperative that these decisions and regulations are made with some knowledge and experience of the herb.
Now that cannabis is legal on the recreational level as well, it is more important than ever for cannabis businesses and businessmen become involved in politics as there will be many more regulations and issues that will need to be addressed in the future.