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Major Industry Titans Form the Country’s First Super PAC to Advance Cannabis Legalization Nationwide

As 2024 rapidly approaches, some of the sector's most influential players are coming together to create a powerful new political action committee for federally legalizing marijuana.

The politics of cannabis legalization just received a massive jolt of energy and financial power from a coalition of marijuana stakeholder groups and companies hoping to use their economic and lobbying might to end the federal prohibition of weed in America finally.


This past Wednesday, according to multiple news outlets, the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) announced the launch of a new Super PAC devoted to "(raising) the profile of cannabis as a national issue in the 2024 election and beyond." Known as the "Legalize America" Super PAC, part of the organization's strategy will involve identifying partners in the marijuana sector willing to ask their customers to make "round-up" donations during point-of-sale transactions while shopping at retail dispensaries.


Super PACs like "Legalize America" can raise unlimited sums of money from individuals and corporations. However, unlike traditional political action committees, they cannot directly donate to or coordinate with individual political candidates, parties or campaigns.


Despite that limitation, Legalize America Chair Matt Harrell of Curaleaf said in a press release, "Legalize America is committed to ending cannabis prohibition and advancing expungement efforts and responsible use. We will use all available tools—including scorecards, endorsements and targeted independent expenditure campaigns—to advance cannabis reform, with the goal of creating a prosperous and equitable cannabis industry."


"Legalize America is committed to ending cannabis prohibition and advancing expungement efforts and responsible use. We will use all available tools—including scorecards, endorsements and targeted independent expenditure campaigns—to advance cannabis reform, with the goal of creating a prosperous and equitable cannabis industry."

- Legalize America Chair Matt Harrell of Curaleaf


Other members of the USCC joining the Legalize America effort include national dispensary giants Cresco Labs, PharmaCann, Ayr Wellness, Columbia Care, Curaleaf and Schwazze, along with Scotts Miracle-Gro, dispensary software company Dutchie and Canopy Growth, one of Canada's largest federally legal marijuana corporations.


Frustrated by the glacially slow progress on the part of Congress and the Biden Administration, which the coalition says "is stuck in the past," the Super PAC hopes to "help speed up the nation's transformation on cannabis reform."


Furthermore, to achieve its ultimate goal of full federal legalization, the group will rely on a combination of partnerships with "high-profile public figures and brands" and will additionally call on its vast network of marijuana stakeholders to offer their customers the option to "round up" their purchases, with that extra bit of change earmarked as donations to the campaign.


Echoing that strategy, Legalize America Secretary Pete Meachum of Cronos Group said, "We believe the 2024 presidential election will be a pivotal moment in the fight to end cannabis prohibition. We are laying the groundwork now to use advertising, grassroots engagement, voter outreach and events to keep cannabis front and center throughout the campaign."


"We believe the 2024 presidential election will be a pivotal moment in the fight to end cannabis prohibition. We are laying the groundwork now to use advertising, grassroots engagement, voter outreach and events to keep cannabis front and center throughout the campaign."

- Legalize America Secretary Pete Meachum of Cronos Group


With early entrants in the 2024 Presidential campaign already weighing in on the issue of cannabis legalization at the federal level, it is abundantly clear that the future of marijuana in America will become a prominent debate topic among candidates on both sides of the political spectrum.


As part of their effort to help tip the scale in favor of legalization, the Super PAC and its influential member organizations are announcing early and loudly its true intention to end prohibition and usher in a new era of a legal and regulated national cannabis industry in America.


As their website states, "We are committed to working with advocates, industry professionals, and community leaders to create policies that support cannabis legalization in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Our primary focus is on promoting federal legalization, expunging records for non-violent cannabis offenses, and ensuring that the benefits of legalization reach all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status."


"We are committed to working with advocates, industry professionals, and community leaders to create policies that support cannabis legalization in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Our primary focus is on promoting federal legalization, expunging records for non-violent cannabis offenses, and ensuring that the benefits of legalization reach all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status."

- Legalize America Website Mission Statement


Nevertheless, there is concern among many industry watchers and advocates that the Super PAC may have some not-so-virtuous intentions when it comes to establishing a prohibition-free United States of Cannabis.


By using its economic strength and political influence, many small to medium-sized marijuana business leaders fear a plan on the part of groups like Legalize America to consolidate market share and push out the hard-working and innovative cannabis entrepreneurs that have helped build many of the successful state-level markets on which the future national market base will eventually stand. However, ending the federal ban on marijuana is and should be the focus for all parties dedicated to the overall movement.


If Legalize America can galvanize enough financial and lobbying force to help sway Congress, the White House and the American people to legalize cannabis once and for all, figuring out the most equitable system for all stakeholders will be a welcome challenge. In the meantime, the political machine is again cranking up for another memorable and hopefully historic season for those seeking civic office and a new chapter in the marijuana saga.


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