The New Federalism Fund, a Denver-based coalition comprised of regional and national cannabis industry-related companies, has hired consulting firm Trimpa Group for Capitol Hill representation on law enforcement, banking, appropriations and tax issues as they relate to the legal marijuana industry.
NFF is a nonprofit dedicated to state’s rights issues, particularly as they relate to protecting states’ freedom to regulate their own cannabis laws without federal intervention.
Members include Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Seattle-based legal cannabis private equity firm Privateer Holdings and Tempe, AZ-based medical marijuana provider Tryke Companies, as well as Colorado-based cannabis dispensaries Medicine Man and LivWell Enlightened Health and product manufacturers Dixie Elixirs & Edibles and Native Roots.
NFF’s lobbying retainer comes as Congress prepares to vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment as part of its Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill. That amendment, introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), grants federal marijuana protections by prohibiting the Justice Department from funding pot-related prosecutions against states that are acting in accordance with their own marijuana laws.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has previously characterized cannabis as “dangerous” and has recently asked a Justice Department task force to revisit its drug-related policies, has voiced opposition to the amendment, claiming it prevents that federal agency from enforcing its authority under the Controlled Substances Act.
In a May letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sessions wrote that it would be “unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”
NFF earlier this year retained lobbying powerhouse Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for a similar $60,000 pact to provide pot-related advocacy work in Washington.
The New Federalism Fund account will be led by Trimpa founder Ted Trimpa, a Democratic strategist and operative who was previously a Hogan Lovells partner and longtime Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck staffer.
Earlier in his career, Trimpa was a legislative aide to Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS).
Trimpa Group maintains offices in Denver and Washington D.C.