Trump's GOP Challenger Will Stay With Cannabis Company While Running for President

May 10, 2019

By Justin Chermol

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld told Cheddar Friday he will stay on the board of medical cannabis company Acreage Holdings while on the campaign trail toward a long-shot effort to oust President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

"Until being elected," Weld told Cheddar. "Once you get elected, I don't think that's such a good idea. But I'll stay on the board during the campaign. I enjoy that a lot."

Another familiar face out of Washington ー and "pal" of Weld's ー former Speaker of the House John Boehner also sits on the board at Acreage.

"[Boehner] had been implacably opposed to legalization of marijuana when he was Speaker of the House. And he changed his mind when his constituents changed their mind," Weld said.

A pro-cannabis agenda could help Weld make up some ground against President Trump in a possible GOP primary. As of 2018, 66 percent of Americans supported legalizing cannabis use, according to Gallup. Perhaps more astonishing was the shift in Republican sentiment: for the second year running, a slim majority supported legalization.

Nevertheless, the GOP challenger has a steep hill to climb. In his former gubernatorial homeland, Massachusetts, the state's Republican Party approved a plan to provide the Republican candidate with all of the party's delegates if she or he clears more than 50 percent of the vote in the 2020 primary.

"They may live to regret that," Weld said reflecting on the Bay State's open primary system. "You know, I carried the independents by a whopping margin in both of my governor's races, and they provided the margin of victory. So, the guess that the Trump people are making that they are going to win that primary, I think that's a foolhardy guess."

A new poll from Suffolk University, shows Trump handily beating Weld in a head-to-head battle in New Hampshire with Trump taking 72 percent of the vote to Weld's 17 percent.

Still, Weld sees the coming 18 months as an opportunity to take on Trump ー and he will spend them "campaigning hard." Maybe a joint is just the spark Weld needs to ignite his 2020 White House bid.