In a state widely touted as the sixth largest economy in the world and the global leader of entertainment, politics is a gritty affair involving extreme competition. While the Governor of California may not wield quite the same influence as the President of the United States, the title nonetheless represents a potent position of power. It is a great sign of progress for the cannabis industry that the frontrunner to be the next governor of the Golden State, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, will be joining industry professionals and regulators on February 16th at the VIP reception for the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) at the San Francisco Hilton Union Station.
More contenders are have thrown their hats into the ring, and the California Gubernatorial Race is already heating up for 2018. Ten contenders have already officially joined the run, seven of them on the Democratic ticket.
In the very blue Golden State, there is general consensus that the Democratic nominee will be the presumptive winner against any Republican or Independent in the general gubernatorial election. While that general election takes place in November of 2018, many see the real race to the governor’s seat as the lead-up to the primary vote, which happens on June 5th, 2018.
Reid Wilson reports from The Hill:
“Already, three prominent Democrats — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — are vying for those top two slots. The field is likely to grow: Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and state Senate President Kevin de León are considering bids, and current Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is running for reelection in March, has not ruled out a run.
“The few public polls that have been conducted show Newsom in the driver’s seat. A Field Poll conducted in November showed Newsom taking 23 percent; no other Democrat topped double figures. Two Republicans who have not entered the race, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, came in with 16 percent and 11 percent, respectively.”
“Newsom, who backed same-sex marriage long before it was popular even among Democrats, and who supported a ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational uses, is positioning himself as the liberal favorite. The California Nurses Association, which backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary, is behind him.”
There is reason to believe this race could be a great thing for cannabis legalization. The office of governor comes with the ability to push back on federal-level policies that directly counter legally-enshrined California values – such as the legalization of cannabis. The front-runner, current Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, has already proven himself to be our guy.
Many in the cannabis community are crossing their fingers that the next year of politics continue to give Newsom the edge he needs to win. Newsroom has boldly embraced the need to end marijuana prohibition and has been a fierce advocate for change. Indeed, the Lt. Governor may be counting on the support of the cannabis community to help carry him to the finish line. That may be why he will be speaking this February 17th at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco. Get your tickets now to a special VIP meet-and-greet with California’s next governor. Early bird pricing ends February 1st so don’t wait!