Mainstream cannabis lobbying is on the rise. But that has yet to result in a rise in cannabis lobbying spending.
Major tobacco and alcohol companies are newly lobbying on United States cannabis issues, as Cannabis Wire reported this week, along with other household names like Scotts Miracle-Gro. This is happening in tandem with increased momentum behind federal cannabis reform.
Last year, cannabis lobbying spending was on the decline, as the chances for movement in Congress were low. As Cannabis Wire reported, spending declined from $2.3 million in Q4 2019 to $1.24 million by Q3 2020. The peak in spending mapped against the passage of the SAFE Banking Act in the House of Representatives in September 2019, the first vote in Congress on a standalone cannabis bill, and the decline coincided with COVID-19 and an intense focus on the presidential election.
For the first quarter of 2021, according to a Cannabis Wire analysis of disclosures, spending remains more or less flat, at $1.18 million. (Cannabis Wire will be closely watching how the numbers shift this year, as the House again passed the SAFE Banking Act last week, sending it to the Senate.)
It’s worth noting that some late filings might still come in. Also, with some entities that lobby on issues other than cannabis, there is no way to assess what portion of their overall spend is toward cannabis, therefore they are not included in the tally. Nonetheless, while the new total could show an increase in spending compared to the end of 2020, such an increase is likely to be slight.
Here are the entities that are lobbying (or registered to lobby) specifically on cannabis (or with cannabis-specific disclosures):
National Cannabis Roundtable: $141,500
Canopy Growth: $110,000
Drug Policy Alliance: $87,644 (this is not a cannabis-specific spend)
Scotts Miracle-Gro: $60,000
Greenwich Biosciences: $60,000
Holistic Industries: $50,000
Columbia Care: $40,000
Maridose LLC: $10,000
CTF Action: $10,000
Columbia Care: $10,000
Association of Cannabis Specialists: <$5,000
Arizona Dispensaries Association: <$5,000