It’s no secret that there are lobbyists working on cannabis issues. NCIA spent the most on lobbying, hiring lobbyists to push political agendas that are in the industry’s best interest. $2,521,316 was spent in 2018 on cannabis initiatives (source: opensecrets.org). This raises some eyebrows because, while the move is symbolic, it’s also a bit frightening to some people as they fear the initiatives lobbied by the “hired guns” in Washington and in state legislatures across the U.S. will only serve to strengthen the stranglehold held by the oligopoly and not help to serve the needs of small farmers, retailers, and minorities. @memberdirectory: what are your thoughts?
They didn’t spend all that money for small growers, that’s for sure. This is a real tricky topic because the water gets muddy very quickly. I know plenty of lobbyist who truly have the best intentions with their advocacy and programs they are pushing forward. It is the “hired gun” that I have a real issue with. In my experience (I am not some DC insider, but closely related to many who are, so take this with a grain of salt), these top end lobbyist are just mercenaries paid to levy their influence to the highest bidder and then go after soft markets. They attack gerrymandered districts with politicians who will remain in power for the foreseeable future and are almost immune to criticism based on their district’s population (this tactic is bi-partisan). They line their pockets and the pockets of the politicians, who always somehow get a piece of the action, whether in cash, early stock options, board positions, campaign contributions, nepotism, etc. It can be such a disenfranchising experience being denied the ability to do the right thing, while those with capitol seem to effortlessly bend laws and regulations at will. All the more reason to keep fighting for what is right. my two cents
Very eloquently worded, my friend. Thanks for your heartfelt and passionate response.
Ironic, today is National Be Heard Day…so it is a little fitting we are talking about big business and lobbyists.
Big business is in our industry now. Liquor, tobacco, pharmaceutical companies all are charging in. Not good for the small farmers or dispensaries. What’s you strategy to survive this obvious and overwhelming concern?
Big business and Big govern-ment also. It must be a law that whenever there is this kind of power to control a market or industry, it will inevitably be exercised to the benefit of those who get involved.
That’s why I maintain that the ONLY real solution to the problem is to rescind the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which was to the benefit of govern-ment, pharmaceuticals and synthetic textiles - that’s why a publisher and landowner with many trees to be cut down for paper made the movie Reefer Madness to demonize this unheard of drug - Marihuana.
Of course, everybody knew what Cannabis meant and even the AMA doctors complained about the gas-lighting.
What’s sad though, is the a part of the “old guard”, the people who have suffered most consequences of their true passion for the plant during prohibition, dividing and taking for granted that legalization is going to benefit them for certain. Unity is our only hope. It really is. Open collaboration through a tight knit of small producers, processors, retailers and family businesses in general is needed and this can only happen if we quit the zero-sum-game mindset, 'cause such a mindset always benefits the bigger players.
Doing our small part like many (but too few…?) others…
Growers alliances and associations are key resources to voice opinions and represent small players in political circles. It’s true democracy.
I think this industry is one of the few that can pull it off as a primary motivation for participating of many seems to be helping others and understanding/nurturing nature. The “Century of the Self” is over, though still bleeding through.
Those whose primary motive of profit will be bought out by conglomerates with the typical lobbying configuration. The same ones we are finding out have been poisoning us for decades.
On the national stage where green consciousness is strong and social media is now a primary influence over corporate news media, which voice will resonate most in today’s marketplace of ideas is the question as Congress ultimately bends to the will of the People, for now at least.
We just need to find the right voice and learn how to use it.
Couldn’t say it best. @JoeGrow
The old world still has strong advocates but we have an opportunity to shape something that will change the world while leading by example.
I believe cannabis horticulture can become a model for the “conventional” agricultural world. We are in a critical moment, where we can decide to invent our model and become an example, or replicate a broken model as followers.
What our community has been through during prohibition years gave us the strength, mindset, and resilience to come up with a radically different approach.
American’s will buy corporate crap over more expensive quality batch grown. Just look how we buy our goods. For 35 cents more, we could all be buying American made goods, but nooooo… We need that extra 35 cents in our pocket so we can buy more crap.
Even if we band together, the big boys are coming with lower margins. Then there is all the scammers in the cannabis community, and they are the first to say things like, “lets band together”. Then like vampires they suck the money out of everybody.
It’s a vicious cycle.