Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis company and one of the world’s largest, is expanding its lobbying efforts in the United States.
Cannabis Wire first reported the company’s US lobbying efforts last week, noting that California-based firm Platinum Advisors registered on behalf of the company. In Congress, Canopy Growth is focused on the SAFE Banking Act, the STATES Act, and “cannabis and hemp agricultural issues,” according to lobbying disclosures for the spring. But its efforts aren’t limited to federal legislation.
Cannabis Wire has found that Canopy Growth has also been lobbying in New York state since late March. The company is in the process of setting up its multi-million dollar, 308,000 square-foot “hemp industrial park” in upstate New York, the location for which was secured in April. The company is also in the process of acquiring Acreage Holdings, which holds one of ten medical cannabis licenses in the state.
(Read Cannabis Wire’s story on Canopy’s upstate New York industrial park here).
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, a Philadelphia-based lobbying firm that also lists Atlanta-based medical cannabis company Surterra Holdings as a client, registered on behalf of Canopy Growth. Eight lobbyists from the company have been engaging legislators and government bodies around “cannabis/marijuana” and “legalization” in the state.
New York lawmakers tried to legalize adult-use cannabis through the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” this year but, as Cannabis Wire reported last month, the effort failed before the close of the legislative session. Governor Andrew Cuomo also tried and failed to legalize adult-use cannabis through the budget. Lawmakers did pass a separate bill to regulate hemp-derived CBD products on the last day of the legislative session.
(Cannabis Wire reported on the bill last month).
Here’s a breakdown of Canopy Growth’s lobbying activities in New York:
Between March and April, the company only engaged Senator Liz Krueger, who sponsored the adult-use legalization bill in the Senate, Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, who sponsored both the legalization bill and the bill to regulate hemp extracts in the Assembly, and the governor’s office. Lupardo also represents Broome County, where Canopy Growth’s hemp industrial park will be located.
But, as the legislative deadline loomed, Canopy Growth considerably ramped up its lobbying activities in May and June. According to lobbying disclosures, the departments and officials that the company engaged included:
• New York Assembly
• New York State Senate
• New York State Department of Agriculture
• Executive Chamber
• Office of the Governor
• Senator Liz Kreuger’s staff
• Assemblymember Donna Lupardo
• Axel Bernabe, assistant counsel to the governor for health
• Senator Brian Kavanagh
• Senator Diane Savino
• Assemblymember Michael Blake
• Joe Garba, secretary for intergovernmental affairs, Office of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
The company spent $7,500 each month on its lobbying activities. Canopy Growth did not respond to a request for comment by publishing time.
Correction: The piece has been updated to reflect that Cozen is based in Philadelphia, not New York.