Starting in 2008, Bob Hoban began building Hoban Law Group into one of the country’s top cannabis law firms. It now boasts a roster of prominent clients and offices in 23 states and abroad

This week’s Power Players interview, focuses on one of Hoban’s new projects, Gateway Proven Strategies, a consulting firm which helps mainstream companies and foreign governments navigate the cannabis world. In a fascinating conversation, we discussed how consumer packaged goods companies view cannabis, the industry’s four regulatory lanes and whether Big Pharma is really trying to stop legalization.

A few highlights:

How big companies get excited about cannabis:

There’s this notion of FOMO, right? The fear of missing out applies to large corporations as well. They’re intrigued by the opportunity and how to position these products. Product developers within these companies have maybe studied it. But for decision makers, THC, CBD, all this stuff is really something they don’t understand. 

Which big companies care about legalization:

[Alcohol and tobacco companies] see cannabinoids, THC in particular, as ways to sell products that are different than food and medicine, or just regular consumer products. Those folks have exerted a lot of influence to date. The other folks still see this as a small niche marketplace. 

How Big Pharma views cannabis legalization:

I think their influence is slowing down the rescheduling process because it suits them well, now. And when they’re ready to have marijuana rescheduled, they’ll be ready with the formulations, the products for different conditions to roll out. 

Read the whole thing.

Separately, Hoban wrote about the pitfalls of federal legalization.