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US (CT): Cannabis businesses spent millions on lobbying before legalization

Medical cannabis growers and retailers in Connecticut spent millions on lobbying in the years before recreational cannabis sales began, data shows. Theraplant, for example, one of four medical cannabis cultivators now also growing cannabis for recreational use, spent $337,213.45 between 2019 and 2020, according to a Hearst Connecticut Media review of lobbyist filings. The company spent $320,974.35 in 2021 and 2022. 

New York-headquartered High Street Capital Partners, later renamed Acreage Holdings, which owns three medical cannabis dispensaries in Connecticut, spent $136,096.25 on lobbyists in 2019 and 2020, increasing that investment to $210,541.28 in 2021 and 2022. 

Trulieve, which owns a dispensary in Bristol, spent $158,990.80 on lobbyists in 2021 and 2022. Only Trulieve and Theraplant have so far filed paperwork indicating lobbyist activity in relation to cannabis in 2023 and 2024 filings. 

Other medical cannabis cultivators and retailers which spent thousands on lobbying before recreational sales began to include Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions and Arrow Alternative Care, both of which were bought by large, out-of-state cannabis operators. 


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