Rand Paul to raid pot summit for campaign cash

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  • Rand Paul
    Rand Paul
    United States Senator from Kentucky

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., the most vocal critic of the “war on drugs” in the 2016 Republican presidential field, will host a “private briefing” on June 30 for campaign donors on the sidelines of the second annual Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver, according to an invitation for the event obtained by Yahoo News.

It’s not clear whether any of Paul’s rivals for the GOP nomination will associate themselves with the gathering, which is put on by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Other headline events at the June 29-July 1 forum include pot-themed sessions called “Running Your Cannabusiness,” “Cultivation and Processing,” “Money Matters,” “Finance, Accounting and Insurance,” and “The Law, Policy and Reform.”

NCIA forwarded its members an invitation from Paul’s campaign for a “VIP reception” at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. There are three donor levels: $2,700 gets “attendee” status, someone wanting the “sponsor” label has to kick in $5,400, and a “host” must pony up $10,400. Any checks must be payable to “Rand Paul Victory Committee.”

The NCIA email promises a “Major Republican Presidential Contender at Cannabis Business Summit!” It declares that Paul “made history earlier this year” by backing legislation that would effectively end the government’s war on medicinal marijuana.

“Now, Senator Paul is making history again by hosting a VIP reception and private briefing to talk about his vision for America,” the message says. “He will take your questions and talk about his support of federal medical marijuana, his push to reform banking laws so they do not deny services to legal cannabis businesses, his work on criminal justice reform, and his support of allowing states to determine their own cannabis laws.

“Never before has a major-party presidential candidate held a reception at a cannabis industry event, and NCIA is proud to host Senator Paul,” NCIA says. The event will be co-hosted by NCIA’s political action committee.

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