President Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner, attended a small October 2018 dinner with unnamed leaders in the cannabis industry, according to Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been indicted on campaign finance charges and is now cooperating with law enforcement.
The Daily Beast

  • The industry figures “wanted Jared to be more involved, maybe help push the agenda with the president because they felt that that was something he needed to be more lenient on,” Parnas said. 
  • A dinner attendee said Trump and Kushner recognized that “the tension between federal and state marijuana laws needs work.”

Parnas also spoke with Trump directly about marijuana in an April 2018 conversation Parnas secretly recorded.
Tom Angell — Forbes

  • Trump said the drug makes people “lose IQ points” and that they “have more accidents” in Colorado.
  • Trump seemed to express surprise that cannabis companies can’t access banks, adding, “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
  • Regarding legalization, Parnas said “It’s so far out you’re not going to stop it” and suggested federal reform could help with the midterm elections. Trump did not respond directly.
  • In the recording, Donald Trump Jr. can be heard saying “alcohol does much more damage” than cannabis and that “You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana…It’s just different.”
  • Parnas’ lawyer Joseph Bondy is also involved in a case challenging cannabis’ federal illegality.
    Marijuana Moment

Do you know anything about connections between the administration and the cannabis industry? I want to hear about them and will protect your identity:

For a wider ranging conversation of the extraordinary recording, see the New York Times.

Quick Hit

  1. MJBiz looks at the prospects for federal reform in 2020. The short version: Banking has the best shot. Marijuana Moment has more on the banking situation.