Cannabis Lobbying Spend Remains Flat, Despite Momentum Behind Federal Reform

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 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

Curaleaf: $100,000

Drug Policy Alliance: $87,644 (this is not a cannabis-specific spend)

Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce: $70,000

Cresco: $70,000

Scotts Miracle-Gro: $60,000

Greenwich Biosciences: $60,000

​National Medicinal Cannabis Coalition: $60,000

Tweed: $50,000 

Holistic Industries: $50,000

Trulieve: $40,000 

Cronos: $40,000

Columbia Care: $40,000 

Altria: $30,000  

Acreage: $30,000

Curio: $30,000

PharmaCann: $30,000

SAM Action (and Smart Approaches to ): $20,000

Maridose LLC: $10,000 

CTF Action: $10,000

Minority Cannabis Business Association: $10,000

Columbia Care: $10,000 

Policy Center for Public Health and Safety: $10,000 

American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp: $10,000

California Cannabis Industry Association: $6,000

NORML: <$5,000

Association of Cannabis Specialists: <$5,000 

​Cannabis Business Association of Illinois: <$5,000 

Arizona Dispensaries Association: <$5,000

More Cannabis Lobbying Spend Remains Flat, Despite Momentum Behind Federal Reform