Gary Johnson, Ex-Libertarian Presidential Candidate, To Become CEO Of Marijuana Company

Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor and 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee, will be taking the chief executive role at a Nevada-based company that develops and supplies marijuana products for pot-friendly states like Washington and Colorado, according to Reuters.

Johnson’s appointment as CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc is in conjunction with the company’s merger with Kush, a pot firm that specializes in researching, developing and licensing specialized marijuana products, according to Market Watch. Kush was founded by fellow Libertarian Steve Kubby, who played an active role in the drafting and passage of California Proposition 215, a law that concerns the use of medical cannabis. Kubby will serve as chairman of the company, according to an official corporate statement.

Newly-appointed CEO Johnson described the merger as a “major milestone.”

“The successful completion of the merger represents a major milestone for Cannabis Sativa, Inc. With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, we are already seeing that the demand is significant. We believe the opportunity is here to deliver products that could change the world for the better,”

Johnson, a longtime supporter of marijuana legalization, served as governor of New Mexico under the Republican party for two terms starting in 1994 and ending in 2003. In 2012, he became the presidential nominee for the Libertarian party, garnering 1.2 million vote. Gary Johnson has been considered one of the most successful Libertarian party candidates in recent years.

Colorado began opening its marijuana retail stores earlier this year, while Washington state announced plans of releasing 15 to 20 retail licenses this month, despite experiencing serious marijuana shortages according to Independent. Out of hundreds that applied for marijuana retail licenses in the state, only less than 80 have been approved by the cannabis board.

Although 27 states allow medicinal consumption of cannabis, only Colorado and Washington state have total legalization of marijuana.

Gary Johnson has declared on numerous occasions his support for marijuana decriminalization and regulation, believing that it should be legalized “just like tobacco”. However, Johnson denounces the use of other non-cannabis drugs. He once stated that his personal policy on drugs and alcohol is “don’t do drugs”, implying his general dislike for these substances.

According to a recent report by the Inquisitr, the marijuana industry, which is enjoying laxer legal regulations in some areas of the country, is looking at a $110 billion profit. If a “marijuana tax” takes into effect, it can potentially bring in $6.4 billion for the U.S government. With Gary Johnson heading one of the leading marijuana firms today, changes in the cannabis scene is yet to be seen.

[Image from Gage Skidmore via Flickr]