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Powerhouse cannabis firms form lobby group to protect state-based weed laws

Posted on Posted in Marijuana Business News

marijuana toursSome big-name firms in cannabis have formed a national advocacy and lobbying organization with an aim of turning big bucks into big changes for marijuana on Capitol Hill.

Denver-based dispensary powerhouse LivWell Enlightened Health and lawn-and-garden giant Scotts Miracle-Gro are among the founding board members of New Federalism Fund, a non-partisan 501(c)4 organization backing state-based regulatory systems for marijuana and policies to change federal tax and banking laws to better those systems.

Other founding board members include Dixie Elixirs, a Denver-based cannabis products company; Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based marijuana private equity firm; Tryke Companies, a Tempe, Ariz.-based medical cannabis business; and Denver dispensary operators Native Roots and Medicine Man.

The launch of New Federalism Fund, or NFF, comes in the wake of White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions making unfavorable remarks toward the flurry of state-regulated legal marijuana programs.

“It’s really vitally important that we try to engage in a productive way and tell our story and try to educate the government,” Neal Levine, LivWell’s senior vice president of government affairs and spokesman for the NFF, told The Cannabist.

NFF’s priorities include protecting the state-based legal marijuana programs, limiting the use of enforcement resources on those systems, changing federal tax law to ensure that cannabis businesses are not penalized by IRS Code 280E, and promoting federal-level actions that would allow for cannabis businesses to openly bank.

A key component of NFF’s efforts will be conveying how the industry operates, contributes revenue to state and local coffers, serves as a source of employment, and offers a regulated means to pull the drug from the black market, Levine said.

“Let’s all agree, if we can, that marijuana is not going to be eradicated off the face of the Earth … we’re the solution to your drug cartel problem when it comes to marijuana,” he said. Read full article at Cannabist

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