New cannabis advocacy group aims to sway federal government

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A group of cannabis companies has banded together to form a nonprofit political advocacy group designed to protect the legal marijuana trade – and it includes the unit of a major mainstream company that is a relative newcomer to the MJ industry.

The organization, called the New Federalism Fund (NFF), is made up of industry heavy hitters that include:

  • Scotts Company LLC, a subsidiary of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., a lawn and garden company that has been investing heavily in the cannabis market and trades on the New York Stock Exchange
  • Colorado retail chains LivWell Enlightened Health, Medicine Man and Native Roots
  • Multistate infused products maker Dixie Brands
  • International cannabis firm Privateer Holdings
  • Arizona-based Tryke Companies, a medical marijuana business

The NFF, which also has ties to the National Cannabis Industry Association, has three primary aims:

  • Ensure the current industry can continue to operate in states that have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana
  • Maintain the federal government’s hands-off approach toward MJ when it comes to law enforcement
  • Reform the 280E section of the federal tax code

“We want our elected officials to know that a regulated cannabis industry is the best way to stop the illegal drug trade while growing our local economies,” NFF Chairman Neal Levine said in a news release announcing the new group. “Local control over regulated commerce just makes sense. It’s a building block of federalism for good reason.”

The NFF plans to work with Congress and the Trump administration to achieve its goals, added Levine, LivWell’s senior vice president for government affairs.