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Cannabis Campaign Contributions Are OK, But Investing In the Industry Is Not

Politicians can't have it both ways.

By
This story originally appeared on Benzinga

In response to new guidance from the Biden Administration's Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, which states that security clearances may be denied to individuals who invest in legal cannabis securities, US Cannabis Council CEO Steven Hawkins issued the following statement:

Win McNamee | Getty Images

"I am deeply disappointed by the Biden Administration's further stigmatization of America's rapidly-growing cannabis industry. The new guidance represents a de facto ban on legal cannabis investments for the nearly three million Americans with active security clearances, not to mention hundreds of thousands of current and prospective applicants."

RELATED: U.S. Intellgence Workers Get National Security Clearance, But Not Cannabis Clearance

Booming market creating much-needed jobs and revenue

"The US legal cannabis market surpassed $25 billion last year and is a job-creation engine, now supporting roughly 430,000 American jobs. Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states plus DC, and 18 states have legalized adult use of cannabis. What's more, an overwhelming majority of Americans now support legalizing and regulating adult use of cannabis, and support for medical cannabis has reached 91%. In other words, the train has left the station, and the Biden Administration is quickly being left behind."

Why is Biden accepting cannabis campaign money?

"The guidance from Director Haines says that investing in the burgeoning cannabis securities market 'could reflect questionable judgment and an unwillingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations.' This is frankly offensive and wrongheaded. It also begs the question: If President Biden feels this way, why does he happily accept campaign donations from individuals in the cannabis industry?"

RELATED: All Sides Come Down On President Biden For His Stance on Cannabis Legalization

Election campaign pledges long forgotten

"During the 2020 election, President Biden pledged to decriminalize cannabis and issue pardons to free non-violent cannabis offenders and expunge cannabis offenses. We are still hopeful that the President will deliver on these promises, but we are discouraged by his unforced errors on personnel. An evolution on the issue is overdue."

Let's legalize and all benefit

"We share President Biden's commitment to promoting public safety and criminal justice. Legalizing and regulating cannabis would go far in advancing both. I hope President Biden understands that criminals are the only people benefiting from the Schedule I status quo, including the gangs and cartels that fuel the nation's estimated $65 billion illicit market."