EXCLUSIVE: Why This Congressman Says Politicians Need Firsthand Look At Cannabis Industry

U.S. Rep. David Joyce apologized for wearing tennis shoes in an onstage appearance at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Wednesday, for he meant no disrespect. Instead, he was seeking comfort following a recent knee replacement surgery.

“I can’t wait for the day that when I leave a doctor’s office or hospital, they prescribe cannabis versus all the hydrocodone that they’re willing to give you as you walk out that door,” Joyce said. 

Despite pushback from former House Speaker John Boehner, among others, Joyce has been unwavering in his commitment to cannabis advocacy. Although he has been surprised by the reactions to cannabis legalization efforts in Washington D.C., he said he sees a path forward.

The Key: The congressman said he had an eye-opening experience the first time he went to look at a grow operation. Furthermore, as he dug into the industry and all the work that is being done to ensure quality and educate the consumer, he took a new view of the legitimacy of the industry. 

“When I have skeptics in D.C., I say, please go to one,” Joyce said. “And I ask any of you to open up your operations to your local congressman and senator and have them see what takes place inside. They walk away from that with a much different opinion of what you’re doing.”

Trulieve Cannabis Corp TCNNF CEO Kim Rivers, who interviewed Joyce during the Benzinga conference, reemphasized the importance of inviting elected officials to take tours of cannabis facilities.

“I think that’s an amazing and great tangible takeaway,” Rivers said. 

The Action: Last week, Joyce introduced legislation with Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Brian Mast to better prepare the federal government for the inevitable end of cannabis prohibition.

See Also: EXCLUSIVE: Why This Cannabis Finance Exec Fears The SAFE Banking Act May Not Survive In Present Form

“Let’s bring all of the relevant players to the table and start to draw out what it is that you see needs to be in or out of this legislation and so when the lucky day comes … we have a skeletal framework that we can put the muscles on and create a system that works for everybody nationwide,” Joyce said of his goals with the PREPARE Act.

Watch the full event below:

TCNNF Price Action: Trulieve shares have traded between $16.98 and $44 over a 52-week period.

The stock was down 3.29% at $17.65 Wednesday afternoon, according to Benzinga Pro

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