Now that marijuana is a $2.5 billion industry with opportunities opening up in different states and in different kinds of businesses to grow, it makes sense that they would want to have an advocate in Washington to further its causes.
Enter Michael Correia, the man hired to serve as the full-time lobbyist for the National Cannabis Industry Association. For 16 years, he’s worked mostly for Republican and conservative organizations. Besides a few times smoking pot as a teenager, he says he’s not a regular consumer.
While his is an unusual job now, support for marijuana legalization has jumped to 58 percent, according to The Washington Post, so it’s not quite as radical as it might have been even a few years ago. But the industry still faces a large stigma, particularly among Republicans and conservatives who see legalization of marijuana as an endorsement of a drug lifestyle and the crime that could come along with that.
Cannabis is a legitimate business facing legit issues, top among them, the fact that banks won’t work with marijuana-based companies.
Cannabis business leaders are heading to Washington more now than they have before to make their legislative needs known. Without proper banking services, owners have a problem growing their businesses. Legislators are more open to having the conversation. Moreover, in the interview below, Correia talks about his job in terms of the need to educate an interested public.
He also says that, over the past few months that he’s been telling people about his new job, he gets congratulated and then asked for a sample.