The Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth, one of the largest in the world, has also been lobbying in Pennsylvania and Illinois since spring 2019.
Cannabis Wire reported last week that the company is expanding its lobbying efforts in the United States. Canopy quietly began lobbying in New York in April while Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers were trying to legalize adult-use cannabis, expand medical cannabis, and further regulate CBD. Canopy is in the process of acquiring Acreage Holdings, which has one of 10 medical cannabis licenses available in New York. Canopy also lobbied at the federal level on the SAFE Banking Act and STATES Act in Washington D.C. between April and June.
And now Cannabis Wire has learned that the Philadelphia-based firm, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies—the same firm that’s lobbying for Canopy in New York—is lobbying on behalf of the company on “agriculture” in Pennsylvania and on “marijuana/cannabis: medical, licensure, production,” “banking and financial services,” “agriculture,” “environment,” and “public health” in Illinois.
Illinois lawmakers passed a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in May, which was signed into law in June. (Read Cannabis Wire’s coverage of Illinois’ adult-use legalization here.)
Back in March, Canopy acquired the Pennsylvania-based hemp company AgriNextUSA. Geoff Whaling, a longtime hemp advocate and the former chairman of AgriNextUSA, is now a strategic advisor on hemp and CBD at Canopy. Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, with the support of Governor Tom Wolf, embarked on a statewide listening tour for public input on legalizing adult-use cannabis between February and May. Canopy, though, is only focused on hemp in Pennsylvania and Illinois, Lisa Haas, chief marketing officer at Cozen O’Connor, told Cannabis Wire.
Will Canopy expand to America’s adult-use market? Canopy’s president, Rade Kovacevic told Cannabis Wire at an event to unveil the company’s “hemp industrial park” in upstate New York on Monday that if the United States’ federal ban on cannabis ends, Canopy is “always open to talking” about expanding into the adult-use market in the states.