Florida Dem Governor Candidate Vowing To Legalize Pot Owns Huge Stake In Dispensary Chain, Filings Show

Gabe Kaminsky 

A Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate who pledged to legalize marijuana if elected owns a sizable stake in a pot dispensary company, according to a financial disclosure.

Nikki Fried, who was a medical marijuana lobbyist before becoming Florida’s agriculture commissioner in 2018, has a $130,000 stake in Harvest Health and Recreation Inc. through a company called Ignite Holdings, her 2021 disclosure to the Florida Commission on Ethics shows.

In October 2021, Harvest Health and Recreation was acquired by Trulieve, the second largest public cannabis company by market cap. Harvest Health and Recreation has 14 locations in Florida, according to its website, and Trulieve has 118.

The fact that Fried has stake in a cannabis company that could benefit from legalization, which she supports, is a “massive conflict of interest,” Anthony Sabatini, a Republican Florida state House member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Nobody should have major interests in any state-controlled industry of which she stands to profit from,” said Sabatini, who noted he supports the decriminalization of marijuana. “She’s going to be in a position where she’s voting on policy and she’s going to be conflicted because she’ll either get more money or produce a policy that is best for the American public.”