BudTrader CEO Lobbies for Federal Cannabis Legalization

By Andrew Wagner
IG: @sdcannablogger

Brad McLaughlin, CEO of cannabis tech company BudTrader, was recently invited to Washington, D.C. by Congressman Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) to speak with President Trump and other Republican Congressional leaders about the current state of the legal cannabis industry. Also discussed was the potential for cannabis reform in the United States as well as raising the profile of cannabis industry professionals.

Congressman Rohrabacher was the co-author of the Rohrabacher-Farr Bill, which prevented federal interference with states that passed cannabis legalization legislation. This bill was superseded by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ memo in January of 2018.

Congressman Rohrabacher has been a long-time supporter of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use. He stated:

I invited Brad McLaughlin out to Washington because he is a terrific leader in the incredible, emerging, cannabis industry. He’s one of only a handful of Cannabis entrepreneurs that has the expertise and sophistication to bring the level of professionalism that is needed when meeting with some of the most conservative members of Congress.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (l) with BudTrader CEO Brad McLaughlin


Following his meetings on Capitol Hill, McLaughlin attended a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraiser. Guests included President Trump, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and various Republican members of Congress. McLaughlin describes these meetings:

In my meetings with members of Congress, I continually stressed that we could create jobs, lower crime, generate tax revenue for schools and infrastructure, fight opiate addiction, help our honored veterans, take carbon out of the atmosphere, remove toxins from our soil and create a second gold rush or ‘green rush’ for American farmers and entrepreneurs by legalizing cannabis.

According to McLaughlin, Republican lawmakers were receptive to his visit. “I did not experience any kind of negativity for being the CEO of a cannabis technology company. Republican leaders were open minded, cooperative, friendly and engaged in our meetings. They asked a lot of great questions and had a lot of great ideas. I feel like some major policy changes are on the horizon for cannabis,” he said.

Congressman Rohrabacher is very optimistic about the state of cannabis legalization in the U.S. “Love him or hate him, President Trump keeps his promises. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump stated that medical cannabis should be legal, and that individual states should decide on adult use cannabis (recreational). The President is a man of his word and cannabis reform is coming very soon at the Federal level. It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session.”

McLaughlin shares these sentiments and more. “The green rush is happening, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back at this point. Cannabis is the next industrial revolution.” Having successfully brought a cannabis-themed off-site to San Diego Comic-Con in 2018, McLaughlin has a lot to look forward to, should these predictions prove correct.

Do you think we’ll see federal cannabis legalization within the next year? Let us know in the comments.