Pot Unites Democrats, Republicans as Ex-Party Chiefs Join Tilray

(Bloomberg) -- Former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties are among the heavyweights joining a Canadian company’s effort to boost the prestige of the marijuana industry.

Pot Unites Democrats, Republicans as Ex-Party Chiefs Join Tilray

Tilray Inc., the first cannabis company to list directly on a U.S. exchange, announced Thursday the formation of a 10-person advisory board including Howard Dean, a former presidential candidate and chairman of the Democratic National Committee between 2005 and 2009, and Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011.

Other members of the company’s International Advisory Board include the former foreign ministers of Germany, Joschka Fischer, and Australia, Alexander Downer, Tilray said in a statement.

Tilray isn’t the first pot company to enlist prominent ex-pols. John Boehner, Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, and former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney are advisers to Acreage Holdings, a medical cannabis company with more than 40 dispensaries that last month raised $314 million in a reverse takeover in Canada, where marijuana is legal.

Pot Unites Democrats, Republicans as Ex-Party Chiefs Join Tilray

Based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Tilray had an initial public offering in July. With a market cap of $7.9 billion, it has the second-highest weighting on Bloomberg Intelligence’s index of global cannabis companies.

Dean, a former Vermont governor, ran for president in 2004 and was briefly the front-runner before losing the Iowa caucuses to the eventual nominee, John Kerry.

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