OTTAWA — Former prime minister Jean Chretien once joked while in office that he would be ready to smoke marijuana in retirement, but a number of politicians and political operatives have actually found a spot in the cannabis industry.
Here are some of the more high-profile former politicos in the marijuana trade — and the one whose entry didn’t quite work out.
Julian Fantino: After a long career in policing, including as chief of police in Toronto, Fantino became a Conservative MP and a cabinet minister under Stephen Harper. He is chairman of the board for Aleafia Inc., a medicinal cannabis company.
Martin Cauchon: A former Liberal MP and cabinet minister under Jean Chretien, Cauchon was justice minister in 2003 when the government introduced a bill to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. He is chairman of the board for 48North, a medicinal marijuana company.
Herb Dhaliwal: Another former Liberal cabinet minister under Chretien, he founded cannabis producer National Green Biomed Ltd., a B.C.-based company that was working to launch a nearly 2,800-square-metre facility in the Fraser Valley.
Terry Lake: The former mayor of Kamloops and B.C. Liberal health minister is vice-president of corporate and social responsibility for HEXO Corp, a cannabis producer. The co-founder of the company is Adam Miron, who was once on the national board of directors for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Mike Harcourt: The former B.C. NDP premier has been chairman of the board for True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., which oversees two divisions — one for medicinal marijuana, the other for hemp-based products for pets.
Ernie Eves: The former Tory premier of Ontario is chairman of the board for Timeless Herbal Care, a Jamaican medicinal marijuana company, and Asterion BioMed Inc., a health company that also provides medicinal cannabis services.
Chuck Rifici: A one-time Liberal Party of Canada chief financial officer — he served as treasurer for five years until June 2016 — heads the private equity firm Nesta Holdings Co., which invests in cannabis companies.
Brian Mulroney: The former Progressive Conservative prime minister will join the board of directors of Acreage Holdings, an American cannabis company, in November. The news broke on Wednesday when recreational cannabis became legal in Canada.
John Turner: In 2014, Mulroney’s Liberal foe backed a bid by a company called Muileboom Organics to turn into a medicinal cannabis grower. Locals weren’t interested, the project didn’t go ahead and Turner backed out.
Jordan Press, The Canadian Press