Sir Richard Branson, the brash billionaire with friends in high places and a propensity to say what is on his mind, has some advice for New Zealand farmers: Forget about cows and think about cannabis.
The progressive British business magnate, philanthropist and pro-legalization advocate, was in New Zealand speaking at charity event. He made his comments while being interviewed by Newshub.
On legalizing cannabis as a crop, Branson told Newshub:
“You should legalise it, grow it, tax it, regulate it. I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers, if you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable.”
For years, Branson has supported progressive marijuana reform and has fought against the costly war on drugs.
“We’ve done a lot of studies on the war on drugs and it’s been an abject failure, and what is absolutely clear to us is that drugs should be decriminalized and people who have drug problems should be helped,” Branson said in the Newshub interview.
Newshub reached the Federated Farmers, the island nation’s leading independent rural advocacy organization, to get its reaction to Branson’s business idea. The group’s president, William Rolleston, wasn’t completely opposed.
“Farmers welcome any opportunity to add another string to their bow, and would look at that option only if it was legal and profitable to do so. … But that is a long way down the track,” he told Newshub.
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