California marijuana PAC seeking ‘sensible regulation’ launches despite banking hurdles

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California cannabis political action committee, California marijuana PAC seeking ‘sensible regulation’ launches despite banking hurdles

A new cannabis political action committee, Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use, hopes to raise $300,000 by 2020 to support industry-friendly candidates for public office in the state’s key locales.

The PAC planned to be operational months ago and hoped to have more time to support candidates in 2018.

But six banks declined to offer accounts because the group’s directors refused to change the PAC’s name, said Jackie McGowan, a board member and director of licensing and business development at Sacramento’s K Street Consulting.

“We were encouraged along the way to consider a different name,” she said, “but we didn’t want to hide what we were doing or find a clever workaround so that we could trick a bank.”

Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use started fundraising this week and wants to raise $50,000 by the end of the year, she noted.

The PAC reportedly is aiming to raise another $250,000 next year to line its war chest for 2020.

“Our goal is to replace some of the (elected officials) who are refusing to lobby on behalf of the more than 8 million people in the state who voted yes on Proposition 64 (California’s voter-approved 2016 adult-use initiative),” McGowan said.

The PAC’s board of directors – McGowan, hemp businessman Tyler Strause and cannabis attorney Dale Schafer – plans to spend money raised before the November 2018 midterm elections to fund five candidates in races in South Lake Tahoe and Plumas and Napa counties, where activists opposed to adult-use have stymied regulations.

Candidates in those races have been active in an industry group run by McGowan and Strause.

McGowan said the current board is seeking six additional members as well as people to fill positions on an advisory panel.