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Meanwhile the industry lobbyists are rolling in dough

“We haven’t taken any days off, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised,” says managing partner Jim Smith (left), whose firm was ranked sixth last year. “We’re not looking to be any particular number. We [just] want to be busy at all times.”

Smith, Costello & Crawford has quietly been racking up clients in part by focusing on industries that get intense attention from the state government: health care, energy, and marijuana.

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Smith says his firm branched out into cannabis nearly six years ago when Good Chemistry, a Colorado company, asked for help with work on the then-new rules for medical marijuana. The state Department of Public Health, Smith says, worked with the industry to develop those regulations. The firm’s success attracted other pot players, such as Happy Valley Ventures and Garden Remedies — particularly after Massachusetts residents voted in 2016 to make the recreational industry legal in the state.

However, it’s hard to envision Smith’s firm, with five registered lobbyists in the state, overtaking ML’s 12-person team anytime soon.