Canadian Parliament in Ottawa

Federal Lobbyists to Focus on Cannabis in the Coming Months

Federal government retreats this summer will include a number of lobbyists pushing for their interests, including cannabis legalization.

Summa Strategies Canada Lobbyist Louis-Alexandre Lanthier, who also served as a staff person to Justin Trudeau as an MP, said cannabis is becoming a more central focus for lobbyists after the Liberals recent announcement of the task force overseeing the file.

“Any people who are working on that issue will start paying attention to that and will try to be in touch with that [task force] to prepare documentation or to appear in public,” said Lanthier said. “That is going to be an issue that is going to come forward, I think, a bit more.”

Temple Scott Associates lobbyist Scott Thurlow agreed that many lobbyists will be pushing their agenda on cannabis this summer and into the fall.

“There’s still quite a few issues related to legalization that will probably drive a lot of the agenda, because there’s certainly a lot of money involved,” Thurlow said.

It has been estimated that the cannabis industry is worth $7 billion annually and carries a $2.3 billion price tag for the government to enforce.

Thurlow said the mandate letters Trudeau sent to cabinet ministers after taking office will be used as checklists for lobbyists who will be “working on the items that are in there and haven’t been dealt with yet.”