Ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been named honorary chairman of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an organization to lobby for pro-marijuana policy.
The group, which launched Friday, is industry funded and will work on removing federal restrictions that prohibit research on cannabis, combatting the opioid epidemic and developing solutions for veterans.
The organization will also allow legally operating cannabis companies to access financial markets, among other issues. Axios first reported that Boehner would lead the lobbying group.
The group will represent legalized marijuana businesses in 23 states and Washington, D.C., the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Boehner will not work as a registered lobbyist for the group, but will serve as an adviser. He has worked as a marijuana advocate and sits on the board of the cannabis corporation Acreage Holdings, which owns legalized marijuana licenses in several states.
“As the cannabis industry grows and matures, it’s vital that we work together for a common-sense legal framework for cannabis policy,” Boehner said in a press release.
The group’s public policy team includes Squire Patton Boggs, where Boehner works as a senior strategic adviser, as well as the Liaison Group and HDMK Public Affairs. One of the group’s seven founding companies is Acreage.
The marijuana industry’s lobbying presence has grown in Washington so far this year.
The Cannabis Trade Federation, a nonprofit to educate and advocate for cannabis in public policy, hired 15 lobbyists to push the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act in January.