Rand Paul 1st major-party candidate to court pot donors

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., waits to be introduced to speak during the Road to Majority 2015 convention in Washington on June 18. Paul was to hold a fundraiser today at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver.

DENVER — Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul is courting donors from the marijuana business in a groundbreaking event in Denver.

The Kentucky senator is holding a fundraiser Tuesday at the Cannabis Business Summit.

Paul becomes the first major-party presidential candidate to publicly court donations from the pot industry. Though legal weed business owners have been active political donors for years, presidential candidates have shied away from holding fundraisers made up entirely of marijuana-related business owners.

Paul has joined Democrats in the Senate to sponsor a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana for medical reasons. The senator also backs a federal drug-sentencing overhaul.

Tickets to the pot fundraiser start at $2,700.

Marijuana advocates say political candidates at every level are more publicly courting marijuana entrepreneurs for political donations.