Fear of Federal Enforcement Leads to Cancellation of “Cannabis Cruise” - News | MERRY JANE
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Fear of Federal Enforcement Leads to Cancellation of “Cannabis Cruise”

One entrepreneur's plans for a “cannabis cruise” came crashing down after Sean Spicer’s threatening words spooked both sponsors and investors.

by Zach Harris

A business cruise aimed at connecting ganja-preneurs with potential investors has been cancelled thanks to Sean Spicer’s month-old threats against the recreational weed industry.

Texas-based investor James Lee had planned the “cannabis cruise” at the beginning of 2017. By mid-February, the manifest was filling up, with sponsors, investors, and businessmen all pledging cash and support for the October cruise that would take cannabis industry insiders on a round-trip from Miami to Jamaica and back. Lee even had a contract written up with Royal Caribbean to charter one of their yachts for the excursion.

But that all changed as soon as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer took his podium on February 23rd and declared that the Trump administration was considering “greater enforcement” of federal cannabis laws in states with recreational use legislation. Almost immediately, Lee’s phone blew up and the cannabis cruise hit an unforeseen iceberg.

“The comments didn’t go into much detail,” Lee told Yahoo Finance, “but it was enough to scare anybody. Companies and sponsors that were going to be participating didn’t want to put themselves out there any more.”

Ironically, Lee actually voted for Trump, hoping that his deregulatory tendencies - the same tendencies he’s using to defund the EPA and Planned Parenthood - would lead to cannabis legalization nationwide. Lee apparently didn’t think too much of Trump’s inner circle or his teetotaling ways and says he lost “millions” in foregone income due to the Spicer threats.

“I definitely understood from the beginning that he is what we would call straight-edge,” says Lee. “I think they’re still going with the reefer-madness theory that was bred into them at a young age.”

Even after cancelling the cruise, Lee plans to stay in the cannabis industry, and even wrote a letter to president Trump pleading that  “legalizing marijuana would shift $40 billion in annual spending from criminal syndicates to the regulated economy, increasing tax revenue for governments.” Lee hasn’t heard back yet, but that isn’t changing his opinion of Trump - he told Yahoo Finance that he’d even vote for Donald again.

As marijuana becomes more mainstream, profit-fueled businessmen like Lee will continue to come out of the woodworks to join the industry in droves. And with cannabis community mainstays struggling to find a foothold in the burgeoning market, maybe the failure of Lee’s cannabis cruise was just karmic forces coming back to bite him - after all, pledging support for a President who hates the industry you’re trying to profit off of is probably frowned upon celestially.


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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