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The 15 Best Bongs to Buy in 2020 (In-Depth Reviews)




As a veteran cannabis user, I’ve owned my fair share of bongs.

Some were good and some were downright amazing, however, before I could start writing this piece I needed to decide what separates good bongs from bad ones.

Well, these five are a good start:

  1. Is the glass thick?
  2. Does it look sturdy?
  3. Does it have very few moving parts?
  4. Does it clean easily?
  5. Does it have a decent volume?

There are other things to look for in a bong, such as airflow restriction and smoke diffusion, but you won’t really know the airflow until you’ve used it for a few times.

The first three on the list are very important as they will determine the longevity of your glass if you are careful with it. If you throw your bong around, no amount of sturdiness will save it.

If you are clumsy, you’ll want your bong to have as few moving parts as possible. Parts that stick out far from the core of the bong also contribute to them being easily breakable, so you might want to keep that in mind while shopping as well.

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What are the different types of bongs?

Bongs come in various shapes, but three of the most popular are tubes, beakers, and bubblers.

Tube bong

Tube bongs are what most people imagine in their head when you mention a bong.

They usually have a cylindrical neck which goes all the way down to the bottom of the bong and ends with a disc, which gives tube bongs the stability they so lack.

There’s nothing wrong with tube bongs, in fact, they offer a lot of variety. Tube bongs often have percolators and other parts that make them visually attractive.

They are usually very easy to clean and the smoke clears pretty fast because of the simple shape.

Beaker bong

Beaker bongs are similar to tube bongs in the sense that they also have a long neck. However, at the bottom of the neck, the bong doesn’t end, as it would with tube bongs.

At the end of the neck in beaker bongs, you’ll find a chamber that is added for extra smoke. This gives beaker bongs a bigger volume and bigger hit potential.

Beaker bongs get their name from looking somewhat like beakers used for chemistry and such. The extra space on the bottom is filled with more water than in tube bongs. This gives them extra stability.


The age-old question that many cannabis enthusiasts like to argue about is whether you should get a bong or a quality bubbler?

Bubblers are much smaller than regular bongs. They are often referred to as water pipes.

The main difference between the two boils down to size and volume.

Bubblers are usually meant for one person, while bongs are more apt for sharing as you can get bigger hits.

The volume of the bong is also very important as it will determine how much smoke you can take in. Human lungs have a volume of 6 liters on average, which is 200 Oz fluid, or 1.5 gallons.

Don’t buy cheap (Chinese) glass

In the last couple of years there’s been a huge increase in the number of websites selling bongs and other smoking utensils.

Some of these websites offer American-made glass, and a select few offer Canadian-made glass.

The overwhelming majority of these websites almost exclusively sell bongs made in China.

These bongs are usually lower in quality than those made on this side of the pond. They aren’t as thick and resilient to breaking.

Sure, there are cases where they might last, but my experience has proven otherwise.

My friends and I ordered dozens of Chinese-made bongs from these websites only to see them break in record time.

Don’t be afraid to spend more than $50 bucks on a glass bong, it will be totally worth it.

Best bongs under $100 USD

Bongs that are under $100 are usually not branded. They are either mass-produced and then shipped to distribution centers in the US and Canada or drop-shipped to your address.

However, there are also several companies across the US making great bongs for those on a tight budget.

Here’s a list of 5 bongs that are under $100 and provide a great experience:

  1. Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler
  2. K.Haring Bubbler 
  3. Mini Bent Neck Honeycomb Perc Water Pipe
  4. The “Flavor Tube” Mini Beaker Water Pipe
  5. AMG 10-inch wide base

Honorable mention: Purr Glass Decanter Glass Vaporizer Rig is a vaporizer rig that can be a bong too. The shape is really beautiful, it has a nice volume for big hits, and it is easy to clean.

Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler

Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler with Gold Stripe Decal

You might be familiar with the Marley Natural brand — a classic glass company founded by Bob Marley himself.

So here we’re taking a look at my #1 pick around the $100 mark — the Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler. This piece is a part of the “Smoked Glass” line, which in my opinion makes it perfect for the wake & bake sessions.

By purchasing the Marley Natural Bubbler you will also be contributing to the social impact initiative created to address the injustices of cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs.

The Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler has a carb, which means there aren’t any moving parts to it. This also means that taking care of your smoking utensil will be relatively easy – just fill it up with warm water, and leave to sit.

After a couple of minutes, empty the water, add the cleaning solution (isopropyl alcohol and salt) and shake vigorously while holding the holes on it closed until all the residue is removed. Fill it up with warm water again and rinse.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Marley Natural Smoked Glass Bubbler:



K. Haring Bubbler

K. Haring Bubbler

The K. Haring Bubbler is a glass piece which will have you completely hooked onto smoking with water. It comes in two color: Black & White and Multi Yellow.

In order to make sure you get only the optimal hits, it was designed with an 8-Slit Showerhead Percolator and a Bell-Shaped Construction.

This bubbler has a fixed downstem which ends in a wide and sturdy base, making it rather hard to get simply knocked over by a stray cat or something of that sort. It’s also made from borosilicate glass — adding to its already enviable toughness.

The K. Haring Bubbler comes packaged in a very durable box that’s coated with Haring’s signature and dynamic imagery.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the K. Haring Bubbler:


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

Mini Bent Neck

mini bent neck

The Mini Bent Neck is a really good piece for those who are just starting to explore the world of glass. It is made of borosilicate glass with colored accents and it comes in 4 colors: Blue, green, pink and clear.

It is just seven inches tall (17.8 cm), and it has a bent neck for ease of access, thus its name.

It also features a 90˚ 14mm male joint with an additional stem joint for added stability. Trust me, that stem isn’t going to break easily.

This bong can also be quickly turned into an oil rig with the quartz banger and a carb cap which are both offered as a part of the add-on package.

If you are worried that it might easily flip over due to the stem which does somewhat stick out, this bong has a disk base which helps with the stability.

The flower female joint which comes with the bong has a nice glass bar on the side, which hugely helps when making a drag or clearing it through.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Mini Bent Neck:

     USToker Supply

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

The “Flavor Tube” Mini Beaker

mini beaker

Flavor Tube is another bong that is great for those looking for their first piece and those who like smoking alone. This small piece is made out of thick borosilicate and slime green glass.

It is 8″ tall (20 cm) and has a glass disk on the bottom of the beaker. The primary role of the beaker is to create more volume and provide stability.

So, with the added disk at the bottom, only a direct hit at the top of the neck will knock over The Flavor Tube.

It has a 14mm female joint and a diffusion percolator which is set at an angle to prevent splash back. It is incredibly easy to clean as it literally has no moving parts other than the slider.

The slider can be replaced with a quartz banger and a carb to easily transform The Flavor Tube into an oil rig for added flavors.

A small downside to this bong is that it doesn’t have a bent neck so you’ll have to take hits at an awkward angle or tilt the bong.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Flavor Tube Mini Beaker: 

     USToker Supply

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

AMG 10-inch Wide Base

10 inch wide base

AMG stands for American Made Glass, which stands behind thick, nearly indestructible bongs that you’ll fall in love with.

The AMG 10-inch has a wide base which offers additional stability for its tall stature since it is 10 inches (25 cm) tall.

It is made with super thick borosilicate glass, on American soil using American resources. It’s a real American bong. Que the white eagle.

This AMG bong comes with a diffused male stem which significantly helps with the cooling effect water makes.

It comes in teal, Black & Mint, black, and blue colors. It is extremely easy to clean due to the simple shape, its lack of percolators and the easily detachable male stem.

The AMG 10-inch wide base glass bong usually comes in at around $80 USD. For this price tag, you’ll get a very good bong which will last you a while, and provide smooth hits as long as you clean it.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the AMG Wide Base: 

     USGlass City Pipes

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

Best Bongs Under $200 USD

This is where we start getting into really quality bongs. Bongs that are in the $100-200 range.

This price range will guarantee that you have a very pleasant experience, combined with durable, high-quality glass. Let’s check out the top 5:

  1. Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler
  2. Higher Standards Beaker Water Pipe
  3. The “Double Trouble” Double Stereo Fat Can Water Pipe
  4. Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb Glass Water Bong
  5. 12″ GRAV® Straight Base w/ Disc – Clear

Honorable mention: 9mm Thick Beaker Bong by Diamond Glass is an upgrade from the Tank Breaker as it’s somewhat bigger, but also a bit more expensive.

Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler

Marley Natural Bubbler

The Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler is just a thing of beauty. Made from all natural materials — black walnut wood and borosilicate glass, it is a great gift for those looking for a balance of beauty and utility.

The Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler weighs in at 400 grams, a bit more than other bubblers from the same brand.

It’s most unique function is that this bubbler can also be used as a regular pipe as well as a water pipe. Its hybrid design makes it very unique in that sense.

This bubbler has only two parts, the handle which is connected to a rather large water chamber, and the removable bowl. This makes it extremely easy to clean and maintain.

The Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler comes with a cotton drawstring carrying case, which means you can easily carry it with yourself without having everyone around know you’re about to have a mean session.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Marley Natural Black Walnut Bubbler: 


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Bloomgroove

Higher Standards Beaker Water Pipe

Higher Standards Beaker Package

If you’re ready to spend a bit over $100 USD for a bong, then you should look no further than the Higher Standards Beaker.

This bong comes in a package with the Higher Standards Ice Mold, which means you won’t have any trouble stuffing it with ice for a cold and smooth hit.

The Higher Standards bong is a 36.2cm tall beaker which is handcrafted from durable medical-grade borosilicate glass. It is completely transparent in color.

It comes packed in a reusable collector’s case made for safe storage and transportation, so that you don’t break it on accident while on the go.

This beaker bong features extra-thin slits on the downstem which generate fine bubbles and maximize the contact between smoke and moisture for a smoother draw.

In order to keep its crystal-clear look throughout the years of constant use, make sure you wash it with the Higher Standards ISO Pure and Salt Rox for best results!

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Higher Standards Beaker Water Pipe: 


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Bloomgroove

The “Double Trouble”

double trouble

You know what you are getting into when your bong is named The Double Trouble. It is very tall with the mouthpiece sitting at 16 inches above the desk.

It has a straight tube with a disk at the bottom, two stereo percolators embedded in the tube which offer high-grade filtration, and a 18.8mm female joint which fits a large male bowl.

However, what sets apart The Double Trouble from the “under $100 bongs” group are its unique features, not its awesome percolators.

The Double Trouble has an Ice Pinch and a Splash Guard, which help you get much cleaner hits.

The Ice Pinch serves as to catch the ice and hold it above the water line, and the splash guard prevents water from coming up to your mouth.

The Double Trouble is primarily made for flower consumption, although retailers claim that it can also be safely used for cannabis extracts simply by swapping out the bowl for a quartz banger.

Users report this bong to be extremely sturdy as the downstem has an additional joint tying it to the body. They also say that it is relatively easy to clean, given its massive size and the double percolators.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Double Trouble: 

     USSmoke Cartel

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb

purr glass swiss honeycomb

The Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb bong is perhaps the most beautiful bong on this list. You can order this beauty in Dichro, Slyme and Pink Slyme colors.

This bong features a handcrafted honeycomb drum percolator which makes the smoke cooler and smoother. This percolator works by diffusing the smoke through 19 different points in the honeycomb disc.

You can further cool down the smoke with its several ice pinchers. They also serve as water stoppers so that it doesn’t get to your mouth. Its bent neck makes accessing the bong a lot easier.

The Purr Glass Swiss Honeycomb is 9 inches tall, with a 4-inch base. It has a 14mm female joint that fits all sorts of male accessories, however, a 90° design is recommended if applicable.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Double Trouble: 

     USPurr Smoking

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

12″ GRAV® Straight Base

12 inch grav straight base

The 12″ Grav® Straight Base bong is a serious tool. This thing will get you higher than you could ever imagine.

Its straight 12-inch tube provides users with a huge amount of volume which can be filled up with a lot of milky smoke. Aside from that, you can also pack it with some ice to improve the quality of the hit.

The 14mm female stem is connected with two very sturdy joints to the tube. Along with the base disc it provides a very robust sense given its size

You can order this bong online, in black, white, blue, green, red, purple, yellow, orange, or etch. The hits you’ll take from this 12-incher will be essentially smooth and cool.

The percolator near the bottom of the base should be covered with about 1-2 cm of water for the utmost diffusion and perfect taste.

The 12″ GRAV® Straight Base bong goes for a reasonable $112, and it comes with a 14mm funnel bowl.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the GRAV® Straight Base: 


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

Best Bongs Over $200 USD

Ballers only section.

Fair warning—don’t spend over $200 on a bong if you’re a beginner. You will likely break it quicker than you expect, and that’s usually the rule for the first few bongs.

That is why if you plan on spending a large amount on a bong, you should buy a bong that’s worth the cash. Here’s the list:

Honorable mention: Canada Releafed by Roor is a great bong which was designed as a release for the legalization in Canada. Its aesthetics and the monster hits it offers are truly out of this world.

K. Haring Water Pipe

K. Haring Water Pipe

Have you ever wondered what’s it like to have the peak bong experience? Well, now you don’t have to, if you can afford spending $220 on the K. Haring Water Pipe.

The K. Haring Water Pipe is a beaker bong made of borosilicate glass, and it stands approximately 12.4-inches tall, or 31.4 cm to be exact.

The main features of this marvelous bong are the removable diffused downstem, along with the incredible seven-slit showerhead percolator which will give you the cleanest hits you’ve ever had.

Other features include the fat-lipped mouthpiece, a built-in ice catcher, and a splash guard which ought to keep everything dry, because the last thing you want is to get some of that bong water in your mouth.

It comes in 2 color schemes – Black & White, and Yellow, but if I were you I wouldn’t think too much about it because that’s the last thing you’ll need to worry about after you’ve taken the first few hits from this bong.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the K.Haring Water Pipe: 


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

The Berkeley

the berkeley

Made by Maverick Glass, The Berkeley is a part of the CALILIFE line which is becoming a huge hit all over the West Coast.

This piece is another crazy design, which you may notice is starting to become a trend with these expensive bongs.

Of course, for this kind of money, you would expect impeccable design along with above-board functionality. That is exactly what The Berkeley will provide you with.

The Berkeley is available in a variety of colors combined with a holographic opal glass marble for added bling.

It has double uptake, two separated chambers and a recycler, a vortex drain, a bent neck, and a rather small 10mm female joint which comes with a flower bowl.

Its most unique feature is perhaps the 4-point donut percolator which is found in the chamber with the stem. This percolator splits the smoke and sends it into two separate chambers.

Its two tubes clearly stick out and they seem somewhat prone to breaking. I find that to be the major flaw in its design, but aside from that, everything is at a formidable level.

Note: I couldn’t find the Berkeley anywhere on sale currently, so I’ll keep you guys posted if it’s been discontinued. In the meantime, I invite you to check out everything from the Mav Glass beaker bongs line.

16″ Diamond Heisman

16 nch diamond heisman

This huge handcrafted piece stands at 16-inches (40cm) tall and has a double filtration system in which the smoke goes from a matrix percolator to a gridded showerhead percolator.

The matrix percolator is found in the base of the bong, and the gridded showerhead is in the upper chamber. These percolators combine to giver the users a very bubbly hit with an easy pull.

The Heisman comes with a 18mm female joint and an 18mm male bowl. It is primarily used for flowers, but it can easily be repurposed into an oil rig simply by swapping the bowl for a quartz nail.

The glass is very thick and sturdy. Diamond Glass as a company is known for delivering trustworthy pieces with the most immaculate of designs.

The Heisman usually goes for $350 but it can also be found for $300. If you’re looking for a piece you’ll be able to put your weed and oils in, the Heisman won’t disappoint.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Diamond Heisman: 


     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

10″ Microscope Recycler by Maverick Glass

10 inch microscope recycler by maverick glass

This beautiful piece is also my dream piece as I’ve been wanting a Microscope Recycler for a while now. Just look at all those percolators and tubes.

It has a built-in splash-guard and 4 percolators at the bottom of the chamber which diffuse the smoke to a whole ‘nother level of airy.

It is only 7″ inches (18 cm) tall but the volume is definitely there as it is quite wide and it has several tubes that provide additional volume.

It comes with a female 14mm joint and a quartz nail, seeing how it is primarily meant for oil consumption. The glass is made in the US from 5mm thick Borosilicate.

The Microscope Recycler features a double-arm with a widened chamber which eliminates any possible splashes that appear. However, those arms also pose a threat of breaking as they do stick out somewhat, but that’s a trade-off you have to make for such a beautiful design.

At the top of the bong, you’ll find that it mouthpiece is flared outwards to conform better to your lips. This way it also creates a nice airtight seal which makes the Microscope Recycler comfortable and easy to use.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Microscope Recycler: 

     USBadass Glass

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available

Bioluminescent Cactus

bioluminescent cactus

Did you ever think that you’ll need a cactus within your bong to improve your smoking experience? Not just any cactus, but like, a bioluminescent cactus, of all things?

The Bioluminescent Cactus made by Empire Glassworks is a one-of-a-kind bong that features a showerhead percolators underneath a sculpted glass cactus in the central chamber.

The rest of the bong is made out of thick clear borosilicate glass and the whole bong is actually UV reactive, meaning that it changes color under UV lighting.

The Bioluminescent Cactus stands at a formidable 12″ (30cm) tall. It has a 14mm female joint that comes with a 14mm male flower bowl.

Empire Glassworks are known for incredible designs that are very sturdy and long-lasting.

The Bioluminescent Cactus falls right into that category as I haven’t yet heard of anyone complaining about the sturdiness or their bong breaking.

Click the button below to go to the best deal for the Bioluminescent Cactus:

     USSmoke Cartel

     Europe — Not available

     Canada — Not available



Jay-Z announces new line of cannabis products dubbed Monogram




Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z is launching his own cannabis brand in partnership with Caliva, the California-based weed company that hired the star as its chief brand strategist last year. 

Named Monogram, Jay-Z’s line of marijuana products launched its website and social media accounts on Friday.

“Monogram marks a new chapter in cannabis defined by dignity, care and consistency. It is a collective effort to bring you the best, and a humble pursuit to discover what the best truly means,” Monogram’s website highlights.

No further information on the specific products that will be sold under the Monogram brand has been released yet. 

However, according to the website, the flower used in Monogram’s products is grown in small batches, with a board of “cannabis experts” tasked with grading and hand-selecting each flower that goes into the line. 

The New York rapper joined Caliva in 2019 as a brand strategist, which entailed overseeing the creative direction of the company. Furthermore, Jay was focused on Caliva’s social equity efforts as he aimed to increase economic participation of people disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition in the newly legal industry. 

As for when consumers can expect to try Jay-Z new products, a spokesperson told the New York Daily News Monogram still hasn’t set its dispensary release schedule. The line will “definitely be available across all of California,” according to the spokesperson.

In other news, basketball star Shawn Kemp who played for the Seattle SuperSonics is also showing his love of pot. Kemp is set to open Seattle’s first black-owned marijuana dispensary this Friday. The Sonics legend named his dispensary Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis and is hoping to serve as a model for others in the black community who might be interested in foraying into the legal marijuana business in the area. 

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Sonics fans on a regular basis, starting with opening day. I hope that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color,” the Reign Man said in a press release. 


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Analysis: Legal weed in Texas would generate over $500 million in tax revenue per year




Legalizing marijuana in Texas could generate over half a billion dollars in tax revenue per year and create more than 40,000 new jobs, according to the results of a report released by Vicente Sederberg LLP earlier this month. 

Legal cannabis sales in Texas would reach about $2.7 billion annually based on the fact that there are more than 1.5 million residents over the age of 21 that consume pot on a monthly basis, the analysis calculated. 

The estimated tax revenue was calculated under the assumption Texas would tax marijuana sales at the same rate as Colorado at 20.6%. This would amount to $1.1 billion in taxes per biennium, while Texas could collect an additional $10 million per year through the issuing of marijuana business licenses.

The report notes Colorado has raised nearly $13 million on average per year just from license and application fees. Furthermore, the report indicated that current taxpayer dollars that go towards marijuana arrests and prosecutions amount to $311 million per year – money that Texas would save should it legalize pot.  

“States across the country are seeing the benefits of legalizing and regulating cannabis. It is inspiring lawmakers in prohibition states to reexamine the efficacy and costs of their current policies and take a closer look at the alternatives,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg.

“The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of the economic benefits Texas would experience if it started treating cannabis more like alcohol for adults 21 years of age and older,” he commented on the new report

Aside from the tax revenue that legal weed in Texas could generate, the report highlighted marijuana’s job creation potential. An estimated 20,000 to 40,000 new jobs would be available in the newly legal industry, with tens of thousands of additional indirect positions, the report estimated.  

Hauser also pointed out the added economic benefits of legalization in Texas given current uncertainties provoked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Texas is leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by keeping cannabis illegal,” according to him. 

Texas was once known for having the strictest drug laws in the U.S., but the state has softened its stance on cannabis in recent years. A very limited medical marijuana program was established in 2015, while, more recently, cannabis possession arrests in the state have been significantly declining after hemp became legal.   


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Cannabis Businesses Invest in Their Futures with Political Donations




Cannabis companies have been making political donations for years, and in 2020, those donations have continued to grow. In fact, some companies are investing aggressively to shape the future of the cannabis industry either by donating directly to campaigns and politicians or through political action committees (PACs) that support cannabis-friendly candidates and legislation.

So far in 2020, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that the leading cannabis companies, cannabis-related companies, and cannabis trade associations making donations to federal candidates, parties, and outside groups are (in order of 2020 donation amounts to date):

  1. Canty Ventures
  2. National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)
  3. Have A Heart
  4. Beyond Broadway LLC
  5. Sea Hunter Therapeutics
  6. Cannabis Trade Federation
  7. MedMen
  8. Dan Kopp & Co
  9. Acreage Holdings
  10. Weedmaps
  11. Trulieve

Compare that list to the list of large cannabis company donors in 2019, which included Curaleaf, Parallel Brands (formerly Surterra Wellness), Tweed Inc. (part of Canopy Growth Corporation), Canndescent, and Trulieve. Even ancillary cannabis companies like Dama Financial, WeedMaps, and Acreage Holdings donate large sums of money in 2019 according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

State Donations in 2020

There are a number of legalization (adult-use and/or medical use) and decriminalization measures on state ballots in 2020, and cannabis companies, ancillary companies, and professional associations have been actively donating directly to related campaigns and initiatives at the state level.

In Arizona, Harvest is the biggest donor in support of legalization (Prop. 207) followed by Curaleaf, MedMen, Cresco Labs, Copperstate Farms, Arizona Dispensaries Association, Herbal Wellness Center, and Oasis Dispensaries.

Mississippi’s medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot (Initiative 65) has received donations from the CEO of Heritage Properties (George Walker III), Ghost Management Group (which owns Weedmaps), and the owner of ABKO Labs (Robert Lloyde II).

Ghost Management Group and its Weedmaps subsidiary also donated to support Montana’s and New Jersey’s legalization initiatives. In addition, New Jersey’s legalization Question 1 on the November ballot received donations directly from The Scotts Company (the maker of Scotts Miracle Gro), Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (a New Jersey cannabis law firm), and Compassionate Care Research Institute (a New Jersey dispensary).

Keep in mind, these donations don’t include the donations that cannabis companies and ancillary businesses donate to PACs or that they invest in lobbying. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the biggest investments in lobbying from cannabis companies, ancillary companies, and trade associations in 2020 have come from the Cannabis Trade Federation, National Cannabis Roundtable, Canopy Growth Corp, Curaleaf, Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, Parallel Brands, Cronos Group, Charlotte’s Web, NCIA, Acreage Holdings, Dama Financial, Trulieve, California Cannabis Association, and Oregon Cannabis Association.

Political Donations from Cannabis Interests Are Not New

One of the biggest political donation stories happened in California when cannabis businesses donated aggressively to former Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign to become the state’s governor in the 2018 election. According to the Los Angeles Times, he secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from cannabis cultivators, processors, and retailers.

By May 2018, Newsom had raised nearly $500,000 from cannabis companies, but he wasn’t the only politician in California to receive money from cannabis interests. At the time, the state’s Treasurer, John Chiang, and Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, also secured donations from the cannabis industry

And of course, these donation numbers don’t even include the many donations from PACs that businesses and individuals working in the cannabis industry donate to. Many of these funds go directly to specific candidate’s fundraising efforts. For example, the Coastal Pacific Political Action Committee held a fundraiser in June 2017, and six days later, the PAC donated $50,000 to Newsom’s campaign.

Another noteworthy political donation happened in Florida over the course of multiple years. The Miami Herald reported that Surterra donated $1.1 million to Florida political candidates and committees between the summer of 2016 and March 2018. Trulieve donated $564,000 during the same period, and Curaleaf donated $469,000.

In Illinois, the doors for cannabis companies to make political donations opened in March 2017 when a federal judge ruled an Illinois provision that did not allow marijuana companies to make campaign contributions in the state was unconstitutional.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the provision prevented contributions to political committees that were established for the purpose of promoting candidates for public office. Since that decision was made, cannabis companies like PharmaCann and Cresco Labs have donated significant amounts to the state’s political candidates and committees.

Business and individual donations to marijuana-friendly political candidates have also become standard in Nevada and Colorado. During the 2016 elections, dozens of marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries donated $75,000 to Nevada legislators according to the Nevada Independent.

Looking back further in history, Florida Senator Rob Bradley received his first donation from a cannabis company in 2015 when Costa Farms donated $10,000 to his political committee.

Similarly, cannabis businesses have actively contributed to Colorado political campaigns for years, and many of those businesses have been holding political fundraisers to support their preferred candidates. PBS reported back in 2014 that Colorado’s congressional delegation had received $20,000 during the first nine months of 2014 from marijuana businesses. Also in 2014, a fundraiser to support political candidates that was held by Tripp Keber of Denver, Colorado’s Dixie Elixirs & Edibles generated $40,000 in donations.

What’s Next for Political Campaign Donations from Cannabis Businesses?

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and more states legalize medical and/or recreational cannabis, laws will continue to evolve. Cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses should absolutely be concerned about which politicians are making those laws.

With that said, it’s safe to assume that political donations from the cannabis industry will get larger and more frequent in the coming years. Let’s put the donations from cannabis companies to political campaigns into perspective. During the first half of 2019, the cannabis industry gave more than $200,000 to members of Congress, which was up from $248,504 donated throughout all of 2018. Compare that to the $42 million that pharmaceutical companies donated to political campaigns across the United States in 2018.

With those numbers in mind, it’s guaranteed that political donations from cannabis and cannabis-related companies will continue to grow. Savvy businesses are paying attention and getting involved in an attempt to influence the regulations that could make or break their companies’ futures.

Originally published 8/24/17. Updated 10/23/20.


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