BEST OF THE INDUSTRY 2019: Strategic Capitol Consulting
Over 1,000 Greenway readers made nominations online for the Best of the Industry 2019. This inaugural reader’s choice presentation is unique – 2020’s is sure to look a little different.
Find features about the winners of categories in the Businesses & Professionals section in Greenway Magazine and online. For the CBD, Patient Care, and Advocacy sections, check out the categorical winners in the Spring 2020 issue of Greenway Patients Magazine and online.
Winners of these reader’s choice awards were recognized at the MoCannBizCon after party on March 2, 2020, at the incredible St. Louis Union Station.
These winners are definitive leaders in the culmination of this industry. Greenway Media congratulates each awardee on being recognized by their peers.
Strategic Capitol Consulting is a fully-integrated, bipartisan public affairs firm specializing in federal, state and local government relations and business development advisory services. Led by Steve Tilley, the firm was voted by Greenway readers as the best lobbying firm in the industry.
SCC serves a variety of clients, including many medical marijuana applicant groups and MoCannTrade.
“We guide our medical marijuana clients through the initiative, application award and appeal process in addition to monitoring industry-related legislation,” Tilley said.
For 2019, lobbying in support of the industry was mostly defense for Tilley and his team, which includes Tom Robbins, Jake Silverman, Mark Habbas, and a slew of other professionals.
“Amendment 2 is designed to provide qualifying patients access to cannabis as medicine,” Tilley said. “We defeated more than 20 pieces of legislation that were designed in various ways to undermine the state’s medical marijuana program and, specifically, patient access to cannabis.”
However, as most industry parties know, medical marijuana didn’t pop up overnight – and neither did SCC’s work on the policy.
“SCC was lobbying for medical cannabis long before it was cool,” Tilley said. “Through years of hard work on this issue we have developed subject matter expertise and critical relationships in all corners of Missouri’s medical marijuana community.”
Tilley himself is somewhat of a legend, previously serving as speaker of the Missouri House. Before that, he was an optometrist south of St. Louis in Perryville. He leads the SCC team in genuinely supporting marijuana reform.
“SCC believes strongly in patient access to quality health care, including offering physicians another tool to safely and effectively care for their patients,” Tilley said. “Medical marijuana offers relief from muscle pain and even nausea from chemotherapy. Medical marijuana is a non-toxic alternative to opioid use. In fact, medical cannabis addresses nerve pain in a way that no amount of opiates can. Opiate addiction is ravaging our communities. We believe legalizing medical marijuana is a leap in the right direction.”
“Our communities also benefit economically,” Tilley continued. “Industry experts expect the cannabis industry to inject almost $70 billion in the American economy on an annual basis by 2021. This underscores the broader impact for municipalities and communities across Missouri.
“As an optometrist and former Speaker of the House, I was able to learn a lot about the health care industry, regulations and how to navigate the different branches of government and state agencies. With the help of my team, this has helped me guide our clients through the new and rapidly growing medical marijuana industry in the state.”
Tilley’s team includes professionals from legal, communications, political, and government backgrounds. Some of Tilley’s best hires in the past years have been people some didn’t expect to see on the lobbying circuit – and he openly admits and converses about his inclination to give second chances, an inclination not often seen in the dog-eat-dog world of politics.
“It means giving people the benefit of the doubt,” Tilley said. “Recognizing someone’s past is not always prelude to their future if they are committed to fundamentally changing unproductive habits.”
SCC is proud to have such a significant stake in defending and protecting Missouri’s medical cannabis industry.
“Because of our great success and relationships across the state, our clients chose us,” Tilley said. “We’ve worked hard to prove we are the leading lobbying firm in the industry. We’re proud to represent each and every one of our clients across all policy and industry areas.”
SCC and Tilley attract more attention than most any lobby shop that this state has ever seen – yet they also nail home run after home run. What makes them different?
“We are available around the clock,” Tilley said. “You can reach at least one of us on Christmas morning just as you can reach us during the legislative session.”
It may seem like a joke, but on Christmas Day 2019, the team was actually hard at work preparing for another batch of upcoming license awards the next day and a new legislative session starting within the week. After all, there’s always something to do.
“Government regulation is a fine line. Regulations protect employees’ rights, protect the environment, keep consumers safe and create accountability. However, we have to watch the government’s reach, otherwise, we’re creating a bigger government and more red tape for small business owners.
“We set goals and work until we achieve them. It’s that simple. We never give up.”