Ex Speaker of the House and current tobacco industry representative, John Boehner has recently jioned the board of a cannabis advisory board. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. This week Boehner, whose name I love to intentionally mispronounce, announced last week that he would be joining the board of Acreage Holdings, which cultivates, processes and delivers cannabis in 11 states in the US.
Some news sources are touting this as a sign that cannabis has gone mainstream, and to a certain extent they are right. While he was in Congress Boehner was not close lipped about his opposition to cannabis use. For years he maintained that cannabis should remain illegal. Now, all of a sudden there is a change of heart. According to Boehner, “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically. I find myself in that same position,” he said in an interview.
Why the sudden change of heart? Some, myself included, have surmised that Boehner has seen the changing tide and decided to jump on board. You see, Boehner knows that cannabis legalization is inevitable and he wants to get on the that money train. One can imagine that being on the board of a tobacco company is not that profitable.
As of the last Gallup poll, a majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis. It’s of course likely that Boehner has seen the light, but I doubt it. Regardless, it doesn’t matter all that much in the long run. Acreage is convinced that Boehner’s involvement will help with the long term legalization effort. They’re probably right. Boehner does after all know his way around the legislative chamber; there’s no doubt he could be of some use when passing new cannabis legislation. The only issue is that I don’t remember Boehner being all that effective when he was in the US House. The thing that stands out the most clearly in my mind is him resigning from his position as Speaker of the House.
Acreage is looking at this as a positive thing for the industry, Bloomberg reports. “It is difficult to overstate the impact of this monumental event for the U.S. cannabis sector,” says Vahan Ajamian, an analyst for Beacon Securities Ltd., an investment banking company in Canada. Boehner is also joined by former Massachusetts governor William Weld, who was also Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson’s running mate in the last election.
How will this venture turn out for the cannabis industry? I have some mixed feelings about it.
Image Source: NY Magazine
Is Boehner joining the cannabis industry a good thing or a bad thing? Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments!