Some state officials who were tasked with regulating legal marijuana have moved to private sector jobs like consulting and lobbying, according to a Feb. 1, 2017, article at The Hill.
Andrew Freedman and Lewis Koski, former marijuana regulators in Colorado’s state government, are now consultants for state and local governments looking for help with regulations.
Several other former state marijuana officials in Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington state have left their public posts for cannabis-related jobs in the private sector.
Ian Eisenberg, who runs a marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Wash., said that type of move is to be expected.
“That’s how America works. You work for the government, then you become a lobbyist,” Eisenberg said. “I don’t think it’s any different than the defense industry.”
For Freedman, inside knowledge of state marijuana regulation is a marketable skill.
“We’re the only ones to have stood this up before,” Freedman said. “There’s a real opportunity to come in and show lessons learned quickly.”
Rob Kampia, co-founder of the Marijuana Policy Project, said the burgeoning marijuana industry needs experienced guidance.
“This is an industry that ultimately is going to be, in gross revenues, what, eleven figures,” Kampia said. “Wouldn’t you rather have the most well-informed people in the private sector and the government sector actually knowing what they’re talking about?”