It would be a mistake to think that the shifting cannabis landscape has implications for the cannabis industry alone.
Certain ripple effects are obvious. Insurance, law, and banking entities have for years lobbied on cannabis-related issues, as Cannabis Wire has reported. More recently, entities as mainstream as Amazon have joined in, with an emphasis in their case on a looser approach to consumption among workers. Even state broadcasters associations have joined together in an effort to air cannabis ads.
Each quarter, lobbying disclosures provide a fascinating window into who has entered the room of cannabis policymaking. And the first quarter of 2022 was no different. Here are four entities in particular that caught our attention:
Lobbying issue: “Request for further research on Hemp in animal ag feed” and “Hemp as livestock feed.”
Context: The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, defined as cannabis plants with .3% THC or less. Since then, as Cannabis Wire has reported, there has been a rise in interest in using hemp in animal feed.
Lobbying issue: “Support passage of the SAFE Banking Act.”
Context: “Our contractors tend to work on the largest, most complex projects in the construction industry and that includes our member’s work with many pharmaceutical and health care facilities where the demand for indoor air quality is precise and demanding,” Jeff Henriksen, the Association’s executive director of communications, told Cannabis Wire.
“The growing environment for the cannabis industry is a natural extension of these demanding services as many Cannabis facilities include growing and harvesting cannabis in the same building. These types of systems require completely different, and highly demanding HVAC systems within the same building, often dealing with vastly different levels of humidity, air exchanges, and filtration systems.”
Entity: American Trucking Associations
Lobbying issue: “H.R. 3617 – Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.”
Context: While this is the ATA’s first formal registration on the Act, Chris Spear, president & CEO, called out the Act in testimony before the US Senate’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports last year. As Cannabis Wire reported at the time, Spear said that shifting cannabis laws “have uniquely challenged our industry, and have exposed critical issues related to workplace and highway safety.”
Entity: California Hospital Association
Lobbying issue: “CMS Region IX re: Guidance on California State Bill 311 The Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act” (Editor’s note: CMS stands for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Context: The Association has “no specific point-of-view on the use of medical cannabis,” VP of external affairs Jan Emerson-Shea told Cannabis Wire. However, on the heels of a new state law (SB 311) that requires state health care facilities to accommodate medical cannabis, the Association “has been seeking both CMS and DEA guidance on allowing the possession/storage/use of medicinal cannabis in hospitals,” in part because the federal prohibition of cannabis means that “there are conflicting federal regulations that put at risk hospitals’ Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.”