Tobacco has always been the smokable plant most closely associated with Former House Speaker John Boehner. But that’s changing. Boehner, now one of the nation’s most prominent marijuana pitchmen, is poised to make millions from the potential sale of Acreage Holdings, the cannabis-investment firm whose board he joined last year.
The massive payday hinges on the completion of the sale of Acreage to Ontario-based Canopy Growth, the world’s largest legal pot company, the New York Times reports. And that sale hinges on Boehner’s ability to do what he was hired to do. “The takeover will not happen without substantial changes in marijuana policy, leaving it up to Mr. Boehner and his team of lobbyists to work their magic in Washington,” according to the Times.
Another person who will be rooting for Boehner’s success is former Massachusetts governor and current Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld. Weld joined Acreage at the same time as Boehner, and both men hold 625,000 shares apiece in the company, the Times reports. That could reportedly net each of them $20 million once the firm is sold.
Boehner’s emergence as an advocate for legal weed would have been hard to imagine even less a decade ago. In 2011, he reportedly wrote that he is “unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana.” He added: “I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.”
When he joined Acrage, he acknowledged his past, tweeting that his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.” What sparked that evolution? Not the brutal realities of the drug war. Not the clear evidence of cannabis’s medicinal value. But instead, his ability to get rich off it.