While political consulting guru Jason Roe worked to elect some of the most prominent Republicans in San Diego County and across the nation, his wife and consulting partner was venturing into the business of marijuana, anathema to many conservative politicians.
Patricia Roe, a minority owner of the campaign firm Revolvis Consulting until she resigned in December, was a founding officer at Luxe Management, a limited liability company established in August 2016. She also was involved in Luxe Holistics, incorporated a month earlier.
Both entities were set up to manage and operate a marijuana dispensary in Mission Valley, Patricia Roe said in an email, but the plan fizzled earlier this year when the pot entrepreneurs could not secure the property they identified for the business.
“I was a partner in Luxe Management, which was formed to seek a dispensary license,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, we were denied the parcel we needed to get a license and at that point I separated from Luxe effective April 2017.”
Two weeks later she launched Pink Haze, which markets pot-themed clothing, cellphone cases and other products.
“Puff, puff, pass, repeat,” is one of the company’s slogans.
The company’s website notes that “cannapreneur” Patricia Roe began meeting with her dispensary partners in early 2016, about a year before she left Revolvis.
Throughout that year, her political consulting business represented former Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar in her successful run for the Board of Supervisors. Earlier this year, Gaspar was the swing vote on a 3-2 board decision to ban pot farms and dispensaries in San Diego County, where 57 percent of San Diego County voters supported the 2016 ballot measure to allow recreational use of the drug.
In a statement Thursday, Gaspar said she did not know a Revolvis partner was pursuing a dispensary at the same time the company advised her campaign.
“I was completely surprised to find out that Mrs. Roe had any connection to the marijuana industry,” the statement said. “I just learned about this in the last 24 hours. My longstanding views and public record on marijuana are well known. I hired this firm for campaign services, not policy advice.”
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Marijuana has been legal in California for medical use since 1996 and was just approved for recreational purposes in November. Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal to grow, possess, transport or sell.
Last month, in an effort to better regulate how the dozen or so licensed dispensaries in San Diego can operate legally, the City Council voted 6-3 to approve rules governing the marijuana supply chain.
Three Revolvis clients — Chris Cate, Scott Sherman and Lorie Zapf — voted against legalizing marijuana cultivation and distribution.
Jason Roe co-founded Revolvis Consulting with Duane Dichiara in 2009, almost 15 years after they first met as young political operatives working in San Diego. The two men later parted ways, with Roe relocating to Washington D.C. for political work.
Partner Patricia Roe was a political fundraiser who also served as chief of staff to then-Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., before the consulting firm launched.
Over the past eight years, Revolvis helped elect almost every notable Republican in San Diego County.
Jason Roe did not respond to questions about whether he and his wife told clients about her dispensary plan before or after she resigned from Revolvis.
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“I know nothing about my wife’s business so I would ask you to direct any inquiries to her,” he wrote in response to questions.
With offices in San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento and Washington D.C., Revolvis has an impressive resume, winning ballots in local, state and federal races. The firm’s better-known candidates include 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner.
Another Revolvis client is former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who is running for county supervisor. She prosecuted many marijuana cases and built a statewide reputation as a pot opponent. Revolvis also represents her interim successor, Summer Stephan, in her 2018 election bid. Representatives for Stephan and Dumanis declined to comment on the Roe venture into the marijuana trade.
© 2017 San Diego Union Tribune, www.sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
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