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‘You can’t criticize people for evolving,’ says ex-MP Oliver as politicos get in on ground floor of cannabis boom

By Samantha Wright Allen      

For some, their involvement represents a public about-face to their stance on the drug while holding office.

Former politicians and staffers are getting in ‘on the ground floor’ of emerging cannabis companies. Clockwise from top left: former Conservative minister Julian Fantino, former Conservative staffer Will Stewart, former Conservative minister Joe Oliver, former Conservative staffer Dimitri Soudas, former Liberal Party chief financial officer Chuck Rifici, and former Liberal staffer Sarah Bain. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade, file, LinkedIn

As Canada gets closer to the Oct. 17 legalization date, former politicians investing in and leading cannabis companies say they were drawn to a dynamic, fast-paced industry where their political expertise helped make sense of the highly regulated environment. And for some, their involvement represents a public about-face to their stance on the drug while holding office.

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