OEN Member NewsFundraiser at HiFi Farms for House Democrats shows weed’s growing political clout (Portland Business Journal)

Oregon House Democrats are bringing their high net-worth friends to a Hillsboro cannabis farm Thursday, but it’s not because their stashes are empty.

FuturePAC, the campaign arm of the Oregon House Democrats, is holding a fundraiser at the facility to see firsthand how the state’s new recreational marijuana industry operates.

Hifi Farms is offering legislators and their friends an exclusive tour on Sep. 29. For Hifi Farms President and CEO Sara Batterby, the location choice for such a high-profile political group offers additional legitimacy to the newly-legal industry.

“I think it’s a huge step forward for the industry and the acknowledgement of our community as an important part of our political picture,” Batterby said.

Batterby’s own company has been thriving. It recently picked up a partner in Portland brand-builder Meriwether Group. David Howitt, Meriwether’s founder and CEO, expects Hifi will eventually be worth $100 million.

Hifi’s Batterby has already begun plotting political moves. Earlier this month, she told the Business Journal she was pushing her industry to support Measure 97 to increase corporate taxes on corporations with more than $25 million in Oregon sales.

“We’re at $25 million in tax revenue from January to July for the legal sale of cannabis,” Batterby said. “It speaks to the strength of the emerging industry and … there’s new recognition on the political side that we are going to be a significant source of support for the politicians that support us.”

The cannabis industry has created more than 10,000 jobs in Oregon in the last three years, according to Sam Chapman, a cannabis industry consultant. Along with the tax revenue, cannabis is on track to be the state’s new economic powerhouse, he said.

Source: www.bizjournals.com

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