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