Normally, the financial disclosures of a Libertarian Senate candidate wouldn’t be a big deal, even if it revealed investments in cannabis businesses. However, Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico has to be taken seriously in the Land of Enchantment, even though his two presidential runs fizzled out. Republican Senator Rand Paul has bucked his own party to endorse Johnson’s third-party run and a recent poll has Johnson in second place, ahead of his GOP rival. The Albuquerque Journal reported on the financial disclosure:
Johnson in Senate filings this week said that he owns stock worth more than $250,000 in the Nevada cannabis company Kush and has a profit sharing agreement as the adviser to the cannabis-sector investment fund CB1 Capital.
The former New Mexico governor and two-time Libertarian candidate for president also reported capital gains of at least $100,000 from stock in the company Cannabis Sativa, where he previously served as CEO.
A longtime advocate for legalizing marijuana, Johnson announced in August his run for Senate on the Libertarian ticket against incumbent Democrat Martin Heinrich, who recently embraced the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level. The Republican contender, construction contractor Mick Rich, opposes legalization.
Johnson said Friday he sees no conflict of interest between his political advocacy for legalizing marijuana and personal investments in the sector because his political message has not changed in nearly two decades.
The fact that Johnson, who I had the pleasure of interviewing once when he spoke at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference (a precursor to the International Cannabis Business Conference) has investments in cannabis shouldn’t surprise anyone. In between major political runs, Johnson was openly working in the cannabis industry. Johnson was actually a self-made millionaire who is obviously a good businessman. The fact that he has investments in the industry is just one more example of the current and potential growth of the burgeoning industry.
Learn the latest about the cannabis industry and network with top investors and entrepreneurs from around the world at the International Cannabis Business Conference this September 27th-28th in Portland, Oregon. Get your tickets here.