Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Rakes in Big Donation From a Canadian-Backed Cannabis Giant Opening Weed Franchises

Her hefty fundraising advantage over Republican Knute Buehler continues to grow. Even big weed is chipping in.

(Sam Gehrke)

Incumbent Gov. Kate Brown is continuing a torrid post-primary fundraising pace that has pushed her far ahead of her chief opponent in the November general election, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend).

In the past week, Brown reported new contributions from California philanthropist Steve Silberstein ($50,000), David Cornfield, a retired early Microsoft employee who lives in Seattle ($30,000) and Tom Steyer ($15,000), the San Francisco billionaire who has emerged as one of the Democratic Party's largest funders.

Silberstein, whose company developed technology used in more than 1,500 libraries, has now given Brown, a Democrat a total of $100,000 for her re-election campaign, making him the governor's largest individual donor.

One other highlight for Brown—she reported a contribution of $20,000 from Golden Leaf Holdings, a Canadian-backed, Portland-based cannabis retail company that hopes to franchise weed stores across the country under the Chalice Farms brand.

That appears to be the largest single contribution to date from a cannabis business to an Oregon politician.

Related: Deep-Pocketed Investors Are Storming Oregon's Cannabis Market. They're Shifting the Business Model From Mom-and-Pop Shops to Starbucks.

Brown has now raised $2.7 million this year and has $4.4 million in the bank, having spent little while running virtually unopposed in the May primary.

Buehler, on the other hand, spent heavily—about $2.6 million—to defeat fellow Republicans Sam Carpenter and Greg Wooldridge, both of whom ran to his right. He has not really begun to rebuild his war-chest: Buehler has just $317,000 on hand after raising $1.5 million this year.

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