Life After Politics: Ex-Politicians Increasingly Head for the Pot Biz

Months or years after exiting public office, California’s politicians are finding lucrative afterlives in the pot industry.

The Los Angeles Times has taken a look at some of the more than two dozen California officeholders who are now working in cannabis. They include Bill Lockyer, former State Senate Pro Tempore, attorney general, and treasurer; ex-L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa); and former San Fernando Valley Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes.

At the national level too, we’ve seen politicians retire from office and head for the cannabis industry. Last year, we reported that former Republican House Speaker John Boehner joined the board of Acreage Holdings

“There is an opportunity to make a lot of money,” Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn., told the publication. “It’s dynamic and exciting.”

Anti-cannabis groups and some ethics watchdogs are critical.

Scott Chipman, Southern California chairman of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, wants to see politicians barred from cannabis lobbying for 10 years. A bill that would have prohibited former lawmakers from lobbying the Legislature at all for a period of five years recently stalled.



Monday, January 27, 2020 - 09:14

Costa Mesa’s cannabis program is like a microcosm of the state’s experiment with legal weed. Hoping for a windfall in tax revenue, the city opened its doors to commercial marijuana in 2016.