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Cory Gardner’s marijuana problem

A win for the influential industry could help the Colorado Republican on Election Day, but he’s been striking out.

Republican senators have a common refrain when asked about cannabis policy: “Cory talked to me about it.”

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has emerged as a champion of the cannabis industry in a GOP-controlled chamber led by anti-marijuana hawks, most notably Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Gardner is also one of the most endangered Republican senators in the country. He’s facing a difficult reelection — polling behind the likely Democratic nominee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, in a state that’s trending increasingly blue.

If the election comes down to a tight race in November — as many think it will — the politically active cannabis industry could prove to be a kingmaker.

Colorado strategists say a cannabis win would give Gardner’s campaign a much-needed boost and activate the political arm of the state’s influential cannabis industry, which came out strong for now-Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, in the 2018 election. The industry is a political powerhouse: Its lack of party alignment makes it a coveted ally for politicians on both sides of the aisle who want to show they can bring jobs and tax revenue to the state.

But so far, the GOP’s most ardent promoter of cannabis in Congress hasn’t delivered any legislative wins for the state’s $1.7 billion, rapidly growing cannabis industry, where marijuana was legalized in 2012. The two major cannabis bills Gardner sponsors … [Read More @ Politico]

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