WHO IS AGAINST ADULT-USE CANNABIS IN HAWAII: Alcohol industry, Japanese and Korean tourism lobby, current medical marijuana licensees, black market drug traffickers, and unions especially SHOPO.
I’d like to bring attention to a key statement of lawmaker Mark Nakashima’s from the article:
“On legalization, I really think we need to get the medical marijuana program up and running in a much more healthy way before we’re ready for any kind of legalization,” he told Honolulu Civil Beat. “I really think the dispensaries really need to be given a chance to really perform.”
To be clear: The dispensaries do not need any more time, they need competition. Maui Therapeutics $20M in the hole, Oahu licensees blew all their startup cash on real estate and unnecessary payroll, now charging prices 100% higher than other medical markets. Tradewind Capital can’t be happy with all the money they’ve thrown at this, I’m positive Colbert Matsumoto isn’t a cannabis consumer. Justin Britt on Kauai already sold rights, he got out early. Big Island Grown, IMO, is the only competent store in the state. But as an industry these businesses have a geographic conglomerate monopoly. Washington State is at 6.2 dispensaries per 100,000 residents (Oregon is 16.5/100,000)….with Washington’s number Hawaii could be rocking 80+ stores.
Let’s have a look into Mark Nakashima’s campaign donors. The follow the money link is below, just click on [donors], leftside menu bar. It aligns with his potential move against cannabis. He’s got; Russel Kuwaye, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, in for $1000; Red Arthur/Blake Oshiro/Bruce Coppa of Capitol Consultants dropped $5525 collectively (they represent 7-11, whose sales leader is…alcohol); Phillip Morris, good for $3500; Juul, good for $2000 ( I wonder how committed Mark really is to fighting underage vaping); Navatek/Martin Kao, good for $2000 lol paid with PPP dollars? Unions represented 7/10 of his largest donors, in for ~$47,000.
I’m sure, if we went down donor by donor and connected it to Mark’s voting history you would see a clear alignment. Even with my limited search, we see a lawmaker threatening cannabis whose top donors include the industries most affected by legalization.
tl;dr Lawmaker Mark Nakashima gets donations from people that don’t want legal weed.