Rhode Island’s Marijuana Industry Is Stepping Up Its Political Savvy With More Campaign Donations To PoliticiansPosted by On


“You never know when there is going to be a year where big decisions are made and you want to be able to talk to these people and express your point of view.”

By Nancy Lavin, Rhode Island Current

Spencer Blier was expelled from his first college for smoking weed, then spent the next decade as a perpetual University of Rhode Island student while growing marijuana for state medical patients in his on-campus log cabin.

Not a promising start, but the 35-year-old Warwick native and cannabis cultivator ended 2023 with the third-highest sales among the state’s 60 licensed growers: $2.2 million, according to information from the Rhode Island Office of Cannabis Regulation.

As his company, Mammoth Inc., blossomed, so did Blier’s political savvy.

He donated $1,000 apiece to the campaigns of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D) and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D) in the fall of 2023, according to state campaign finance reports. Blier is not expecting major law changes this year, as the nascent industry scored major wins, including expansion to recreational use, with a 115-page bill passed in 2022.

“Just letting them know we’re here,” Blier said of his recent campaign contributions. “You never know when there is going to be a year where big decisions are made and you want to be able to talk to these people and express your point of view.”

But he’s still pretty green when it comes to the political scene.

Just ask him if he and other Rhode Island cannabis…

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