Pot company taps John Boehner, former House speaker, for board

Clay Curtis
April 12, 2018

So, it looks like John Boehner might trade in his cigars for blunts.

On April 11, 2018, Acreage Holdings, a vertically integrated cannabis company, announced the appointment of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner and former MA governor Bill Weld to its Board of Advisors.

Acreage is the owner of cultivation, processing and dispensary operations in 11 states where medical or recreational use of marijuana is legal.

Acreage announced that former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld has also joined the firm's board.

Acreage Holdings says it's "one of the nation's largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations" and that its "mission is to become the world's leading cannabis company, bringing safe, affordable cannabis to everyone who needs it".

In a joint statement, the men said the time has come for serious consideration for a shift in federal marijuana policy. "I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol".

Boehner, who is widely known to have a fondness for cigarettes and red wine, served as House speaker from 2011 until his abrupt resignation as speaker and as a congressman in 2015.

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Others invited include a primary school teacher, David Gregory, from Blyth, Northumberland, who is taking his wife, Hannah. The mother-of-three said she initially thought the invite was an "April Fool's prank", adding it is "truly unbelievable".

John Boehner, former speaker of the House, is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

While tweeting that statement, Boehner also announced his decision to join the board of advisors at the cannabis company Acreage Holdings.

"Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people's attitudes have changed dramatically", Boehner, 68, said in an interview. Twenty additional states allow for some form of medical marijuana.

"It is hard to overstate the impact of this monumental event for the US cannabis sector", Vahan Ajamian, analyst at Beacon Securities Ltd., wrote in a note Wednesday.

"This is a great step for the industry and a strong indicator of the political and social winds blowing in favor of legalization", said Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech, a publicly traded cannabis company in the USA with medical dispensaries in California and Nevada.

The politicians' years in public office may help the company navigate the winding road to federal legalization. But active involvement in the cannabis industry from top-tier Republicans suggest a number of small incremental changes could be on the way, said Hadley. A Gallup poll from October 2017 found that 64 per cent of Americans supported marijuana legalization, including, for the first time, more than 50 per cent of Republicans.

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