ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Gary Johnson has already had a number of interesting roles in his lifetime.
He’s been New Mexico’s governor, a presidential candidate, headed a successful construction company and climbed Mt. Everest.
Tuesday he was announced as the head of Nevada-based Cannabis Sativa Inc.
“I’m excited about this I think this really is a change the world kind of a thing,” Johnson said.
Now Johnson, a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana, will look to make money off of it, although not necessarily immediately.
“I’m getting paid $1 a year to be president and CEO of this company but I am getting stock so the only way I make money is if shareholders make money,” Johnson said.
One of the company’s prime products is a marijuana lozenge or cough drop, something Johnson hopes will catch on as an alternative to smoking.
“I have a real aversion to smoking marijuana, I think most people have an aversion to smoking period,” Johnson said. “I’ve tried the product and my reaction is, number one, why would anybody ever smoke marijuana given this as an alternative?”
Johnson touted the medical benefits of the company’s products. Cannabis oil is thought to be effective in helping treat children with epilepsy.
A big key to the firm’s long term success will be pushing marijuana legalization nationwide, something Johnson thinks is inevitable given the laws in Colorado and Washington.
Johnson said he doesn’t think his new role will have a big effect on his decision about running for president again in 2016.