John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.
But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the wealthy Orlando attorney and possible gubernatorial candidate says he’s prepared to invest in the industry now that it’s about to explode.
In a series of emails with the Miami Herald, Morgan said he intends to plunge up to $100 million into “the right opportunities.” He also acknowledged that he’s interested in owning a stake in a state-licensed dispensing organization, though he said he’s not yet invested in any cannabis companies.
“I am prepared to invest significant monies in this industry and I plan to,” he wrote. “I have learned a great deal about the miracles of marijuana over the last five years. And what better person than me to be involved?”
Morgan has been among the loudest voices advocating for medical marijuana in Florida. He spent about $6.8 million on the United for Care campaigns to pass a constitutional cannabis amendment in 2014 and 2016, and is among those calling on lawmakers to return to Tallahassee this summer after efforts to pass legislation regulating the voter-approved program fell apart during session.
But are Morgan’s financial interests influencing his public positions? Was his political investment a down payment on a bigger business plan?
Absolutely not, says Morgan. But speculation has swirled for years.
For instance, in 2014, as Morgan began to drop millions into his first statewide campaign, political trickster and South Floridian Roger Stone accused him of trying to buy his way into a potentially lucrative market through campaign contributions. Morgan, meanwhile, acknowledges that he has been approached about investing in Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, a nursery that is licensed to grow