Wells Fargo closes Dept. of Ag candidate’s campaign accounts after questions about medical pot

Nikki Fried
Democratic candidate Nikki Fried -- running for Commissioner of Agriculture -- talks to the press Monday, Aug. 20, in the Capitol building in Tallahassee. Fried is the first woman to be elected as Commissioner of Agriculture. Photo credit: Kevin Cate

In early August, Wells Fargo bank notified Florida Democratic candidate Nikki Fried – running for Commissioner of Agriculture – that she had 30 days to find another bank.

Why? Apparently because of Fried’s strong ties and support for the medical marijuana industry.

“I thought it was a joke,” Fried said during a Monday morning press conference.

In a series of emails between Fried’s campaign and the bank, Wells Fargo asked if she had gotten money from the medical marijuana industry.

The campaign has received contributions from medical marijuana lobbyists and others tied to the industry. At one point, an email from Fried’s campaign said, Fried herself was a medical marijuana lobbyist.

Fried’s campaign has since moved its accounts to BB&T bank.

She said the bold stroke is “unprecedented” and is “emblematic of what is wrong with our government and politics today.”

The candidate said she thinks her campaign is being targeted because of its advocacy for medical marijuana, an initiative which voters overwhelmingly supported in a Constitutional ballot measure in 2016.

“They know I understand the industry across the state and across the U.S., that I am advocating for the expansion, that I’m vocal on these issues, and because I believe that the rest of the state knows I have real shot of winning this in November,” Fried said.

Wells Fargo was not available for comment.

“I’m a candidate,” Fried said. “I am not touching the plant (marijuana), I am not selling the plant, I am not producing the plant. I’m simply advocating for the expansion of medical marijuana and that was the reason for (Wells Fargo) closing me down. Secondhand, it was the fact I was taking money from lobbyists who represent the industry. And I wonder how many other accounts they are not looking at across the country…or any of the law firms or any of the other lobbying shops that have clients for medical marijuana.”

CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Wells Fargo’s ties to numerous special interests is transparent evidence as to their underlying motives in this decision. Consider their deep ties to the private prison industry that profits from low-level non-violent offenders like marijuana users, the industry that profits from immigrant detention centers, the drug treatment centers who profit on “marijuana addiction”. The corporations don’t have to pretend who rules the world anymore.
    Let’s make sure we vote for Sean Shaw for Attn’y General and Nikki Fried for AG Commissioner. We need some justice in Tallahassee.

  2. She is Republican running on a Democratic ticket (DINO) she has donated to Republi8cans since Jeb Bush. She will take money from Big Sugar who has destroyed our state and knows ABSOUTLEY NOTHING about farming, ranching & the environment. She couldn’t answer basic 101 questions on farming why anyone would vote for this incompetent woman is beyond me. True Democrats DO NOT DONATE TO REPUBLICANS UNLESS YOU ARE ONE or have a SECRET AGENDA.

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