Cannabis Lobbying Spend Continues to Decrease

Federal lobbying spending by cannabis-focused entities has continued to decline in 2020, according to a Cannabis Wire analysis of the latest lobbying disclosures. This is a continuation of a downward trend that began in early 2020, following an unprecedented rise in lobbying spending by these entities in 2019. 

Last year, cannabis advocates saw historic victories and momentum at the national level. The MORE Act, which the House Judiciary Committee passed in November, was the first legalization bill to get a Congressional vote. The SAFE Banking Act, which the House passed in September, was the first-ever standalone cannabis legislation to receive a House vote.

But then, nothing. The bills stalled and the coronavirus pandemic hit, spurring cutbacks and layoffs across an already reeling industry. While there have been efforts to include language similar to the SAFE Banking Act in federal coronavirus legislation, those, too, have hit a wall. 

A Cannabis Wire analysis of lobbying disclosures by cannabis-focused companies or groups for the second quarter of 2020 shows, as of the July 20 deadline, a total spend of approximately $1.38 million. This is a decline from an approximate total of $1.67 million in Q1, and a little over $2 million in Q4 2019.

Some companies and entities increased their spend during this time, including Canopy Growth, Curio Wellness, and Cronos Group, for example. Conversely, at least one company, 4Front Ventures, stopped lobbying completely after Q1.

Here is a breakdown in alphabetical order (entity name, Q2, Q1, Q4):

Americans for Safe Access: <$5,000; <$5,000; <$5,000

Cannabis Trade Federation: $50,000; $80,000; $140,000

Cannabis Trade Federation Action: $60,000; $235,000; $430,000

Canopy Growth: $105,000; $45,000; $45,000

Cronos Group (USA): $85,000; $70,000; N/A

Curaleaf: $130,000; $120,000; $190,000

Curio Wellness: $100,000; $20,000; N/A

Drug Policy Alliance: $87,644; $87,644; $87,644

Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce: $150,000; $150,000; $150,000

Greenwich Biosciences (US subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals): $220,000; $240,000; $250,000

Holistic Industries: $50,000; $30,000; N/A 

Maridose LLC: $10,000; $10,000; $0

Marijuana Policy Project: $30,000; $18,750; $18,750

NORML: <$5,000; <$5,000; <$5,000

National Cannabis Industry Association: $50,000; $70,000; $145,000 

National Cannabis Roundtable: $80,000; $220,000; $250,000

Parallel Brands (formerly Surterra): $50,000; $120,000; $180,000

PAX Labs: $40,000; $50,000; $50,000

Pharmacann: $30,000; $30,000; $30,000

Smart Approaches to Marijuana: $22,000; $30,000; $37,500

SAM Action Inc: $30,000; $40,000; $50,000

Trulieve: $40,000; $40,000; $40,000

Tweed (owned by Canopy Growth): $50,000; $50,000; $60,000

More Cannabis Lobbying Spend Continues to Decrease