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Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter promotes marijuana company

As mayor, Nutter was opposed to marijuana legalization and reluctantly supported decriminalization. He is now working for a medical marijuana company with holdings in Pennsylvania and other states.

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is advising a marijuana company.
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is advising a marijuana company.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is joining the ranks of politicians remaking themselves as marijuana pitchmen.

Nutter told late last week that he had signed on to handle community relations for Green Leaf Medical New Jersey. The multistate operator, which is headquartered in Maryland, also has operations in Pennsylvania under the gLeaf brand. Nutter was named senior adviser and consultant for the company.

Green Leaf has applied to open a 50,000-square-foot cultivation and dispensary operation within view of Philadelphia International Airport on the waterfront in Gloucester City, just south of Camden.

Nutter’s beliefs on marijuana seem to have evolved since he left City Hall.

As mayor, he opposed both decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. Nutter finally relented and signed a decriminalization bill after much arm-twisting by then-Councilman Jim Kenney, who succeeded Nutter as mayor. Arrests in the city for marijuana possession dropped more than 60% after Nutter signed the bill.

Nutter did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Inquirer, nor did gLeaf. It is not known what Nutter is earning for his services.

Other former politicians who have gone to work for Big Marijuana include John Boehner, the former speaker of the U.S. House, who now serves on the board of multistate operator Acreage Holdings; Ehud Barak, former prime minister of Israel, who is chairman of Israeli cannabis cultivator InterCure Ltd.; Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada, who also serves on Acreage’s board; and Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, who is now on the board of Khiron Life Sciences, a Canadian medical marijuana company.

Scores of former American mayors, DEA agents, and police chiefs — many of whom were vociferously anti-marijuana — also have joined boards or taken management positions with multistate marijuana companies.