Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a New York company with marijuana cultivation, processing and dispensing operations in 11 states.
Boehner, a Republican, has been a longtime opponent of marijuana reform.
Industry insiders and analysts said his change of political heart has the potential to energize and influence national marijuana reform efforts.
In addition to Boehner, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings.
Boehner and Weld, who also is a Republican, said in a joint statement they believe “the time has come for serious consideration of a shift in federal marijuana policy.”
Less than a decade ago, Boehner said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization.
But, in a tweet Wednesday, he said his thinking had “evolved” and that he was convinced descheduling the drug is needed to “help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities.”
Acreage Holdings said in its news release that the collective experience of Boehner and Weld in government and leadership will help drive the company forward.
Acreage Holdings, formed in 2014, was formerly known as High Street Capital Partners.