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A former GOP congressman with a extended track record of opposing marijuana legalization efforts is now cashing in on the legal cannabis market.

FSD Pharma, a Canadian firm that is a licensed producer of “pharmaceutical grade cannabis” by way of its subsidiary FV Pharma and researches cannabinoid-primarily based therapies, announced on Friday that former Rep. Steve Purchaser (R-IN) joined its board of directors. Missing from the press release is mention of his legislative history that incorporates repeated actions to oppose federal protections for state-level marijuana reforms.

From 1998 to 2000, Purchaser cosponsored two resolutions and 1 bill aimed at condemning legalization and upholding federal prohibition. His opposition extended to restricted healthcare cannabis reforms, as well, voting 5 occasions from 2003 to 2007 against an amendment to defend state laws and the sufferers and providers complying with them from federal prosecution.

1 of the anti-marijuana resolutions he signed onto passed the Residence but did not advance in the Senate. As introduced, it characterized cannabis as “both unsafe and addictive” and stated that “Congress is unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and urges the defeat of State initiatives that would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.”

The version that passed, which Purchaser voted for, expressed issues that “ambiguous cultural messages about marijuana use are contributing to a increasing acceptance of marijuana use amongst youngsters and teenagers” and noting that federal authorities can enforce prohibition “through seizure and other civil action, as nicely as by way of criminal penalties.”

The separate bill he cosponsored sought to declare state laws that enable cannabis use as “null and void.”

“[I]t is the intent of the Congress to supersede any and all laws of the States and units of nearby government insofar as they might now or hereafter properly permit or purport to authorize the use, increasing, manufacture, distribution, or importation by an person or group of marijuana or any controlled substance which differs from the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act or regulations issued  pursuant thereto,” it study.

It is not very clear what changed for Purchaser, but his appointment to the board of a big marijuana firm that has benefitted from the thriving reform movement he opposed is confident to raise concerns.

In response to Marijuana Moment’s query about what accounted for the former congressman’s evolution on the situation, FSD Pharma President Zeeshan Saeed basically replied, “3M solutions as all other Directors and $40k money comp.”

Hours later, Saeed clarified that he intended to send that reply to an additional journalist.

Raza Bokhari, executive co-chairman and CEO of FSD Pharma, mentioned in a subsequent e-mail that he’s identified Purchaser for years and believes that though he “remains opposed to recreational use of cannabis,” he “has come to recognize the prospective of cannabinoid molecule in drug improvement targeting auto-immune ailments, particularly the function of synthetic cannabinoids and other cannabinoids targeting the endocannibinoid method of the human physique.”

The former congressman has been on “a pretty private journey, with his wife becoming plagued with an auto-immune illness that has no remedy and other people in her family members also that endure from auto-immune ailments,” Bokhari mentioned.

He added that Purchaser has personally invested a quarter of a million dollars in the firm and compared him to former Residence Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who also joined the marijuana market immediately after opposing cannabis reform though serving in Congress.

In a press release announcing the appointment, Purchaser mentioned the “opportunity to participate in FSD’s development at this stage is exciting” and that he’s “attracted by FSD’s healthcare investigation to tame and define the unknown by difficult the edges of healthcare science to give relief to people today suffering from fibromyalgia and other severe illnesses.”

1 market that the former congressman’s actions did help though in workplace and later went on to perform for as a lobbyist is Huge Tobacco. Purchaser raised eyebrows in 2009 when he opposed legislation to regulate the tobacco market and argued in a Residence floor speech that a individual is just as most likely to knowledge the wellness consequences of cigarettes if they have been to smoke dried lettuce or grass. He insisted that it is “smoke that kills, not the nicotine.”

Shortly immediately after retiring, Purchaser joined tobacco firm Reynolds American as a lobbyist and paid consultant.

There have been quite a few reports that noted Buyer’s selection not to run for reelection in 2010 came amid controversy more than a foundation he founded. The Frontier Foundation was supposed to give educational funding for students, but though it raked in tens of thousands from pharmaceutical interests such as Ely Lilly and PhRMA more than a 3-year period, it reportedly hadn’t distributed a single scholarship.

His retirement came months immediately after USA Currently and the Indianapolis Star reported on the foundation’s activities.

But now, Purchaser is getting into the cannabis space, and the firm described his knowledge in the pharmaceutical market and Congress as an asset.

“In welcoming Steve Purchaser to the FSD Pharma Board of Directors and announcing a share consolidation, the Business has created an immense constructive stride forward” FSD Pharma CEO Raza Bokhari mentioned. “Steve’s addition has additional strengthened the independence and profile of the FSD Pharma Board of Directors his broad leadership knowledge and pharmaceutical market relationships will enable improve our visibility, particularly amongst U.S. Institutional investors and on U.S. Capitol Hill.”

Purchaser also previously served as a particular assistant U.S. lawyer and an Indiana deputy lawyer basic.

This story has been updated to contain more comment from FSD Pharma’s CEO. 

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Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.

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