Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. (Andrew Harnik, The Associated Press)

Sen. Rand Paul taps Colorado pot industry for fundraiser

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s trip to Colorado this week includes a first for a presidential candidate: a fundraiser with the marijuana industry.

The Republican is raising money Tuesday at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver in what an industry trade group is billing as a history making event. “Never before has a major-party presidential candidate held a reception at a cannabis industry event, and NCIA is proud to host Senator Paul,” the National Cannabis Industry Association said in an email promoting the event, which was first reported by Yahoo News.

The minimum donation to attend the Tuesday event is $2,700, according to organizers.

Taylor West, the group’s deputy director, said the private “VIP reception” is designed to let marijuana insiders hear from Paul, who supports legislation to legalize medical marijuana and give the pot industry access to banking.

“It’s the first event that we know of that a presidential candidate will be involved in the industry,” she said in an interview. “He’s kind of in a class of his own.”

After the marijuana fundraiser, Paul plans to hold a campaign rally for supporters at 3:30 p.m. near Cherry Creek mall.

Later in the day, Paul will hold another fundraiser with supporters at the Denver Athletic Club. The hosts include J.J. Hendricks, Jon Hotaling, Tom Myers and former state Sen. Scott Renfroe. The minimum donation to attend is $1,000 with the top donation at $5,400, according to an invite obtained by The Denver Post.

This story was first published on The Spot blog