In a sign that cannabis finally going mainstream, one of Washington D.C.’s biggest power players is coming to the legal cannabis industry. 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 Massachusetts governor Bill Weld to its Board of Advisors.
Operating in 11 U.S. states, Acreage is one of the largest multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations in the country.
Weld served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 until 1997 when resigned his position as governor to become the nominee for the United States ambassador to Mexico. When his nomination was blocked by Congress, Weld returned to Massachusetts where he entered into the private sector.
In 2016, Weld ran as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Vice President and campaigned on a platform of cannabis reform.
As Speaker of the United State House of Representatives from 2010 to 2015, Boehner oversaw a troubled and divided Congress. Clashing with Republicans and Democrats alike, Boehner worked repeatedly with then-president Barack Obama to pass a sweeping budget overhaul but ultimately failed due to partisan gridlock.
Boehner’s addition to Acreage’s board of advisors marks a radical change in the former speaker, who at one time said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalized cannabis.
Both Weld and Boehner will join Acreage’s board immediately and have agreed to also joint the company’s board of directors as soon as it is formed. In a joint statement, Weld and Boehner said the following:
“While the Tenth Amendment has allowed much to occur at the state level, there are still many negative implications of the Federal policy to schedule cannabis as a Class 1 drug: most notably the lack of research, the ambiguity around financial services and the refusal of the VA to offer it as an alternative to the harmful opioids that are ravishing our communities. We are excited to join the team at Acreage in pursuit of their mission to bring safe, consistent and reliable products to patients and consumers who could benefit. We have full confidence in their management team and believe this is the team that will transform the debate, policy, and landscape around this issue.”