Monday, June 17, 2024

DC Exclusive Scoop: Cannabis Industry CEOs, Federal Lawmakers Lobby For Cannabis

Conversations about federal cannabis reform have shifted from “if” to “when” and “how” this eventuality will occur.

By Javier Hasse

Over 20 cannabis industry CEOs attended the U.S. Cannabis Council’s second CEO Summit in Washington D.C. just a few days ago to lobby for cannabis reform, including:

  • 1906
  • Acreage Holdings
  • Akerna
  • Anacostia Organics
  • Bridge City Collective
  • Canopy Growth
  • Central Coast Agriculture/Raw Garden
  • The Cronos Group
  • Culta
  • Curaleaf
  • Flower One
  • Flowhub
  • Forian
  • Greenlane Holdings
  • Holistic Industries
  • Houseplant
  • LivWell
  • Marijuana Policy Project
  • PharmaCann
  • Standard Wellness
  • TrueGreen Global
  • Weedmaps
marijuana legalization
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Senior staff from member companies Dutchie, Foley Hoag, Husch Blackwell and Vicente Sederberg also attended.

The CEOs and their staff arrived Tuesday evening and participated in 60 meetings with Capitol Hill offices on Wednesday and Thursday. They met with members of both parties and both chambers, with a range of opinions on cannabis, ranging from champions like Reps. Joyce and Perlmutter to current opponents of legalization.

Rep. Nancy Mace met CEOs and spoke at the reception on Wednesday night. Many of the CEOs also attended two onsite fundraisers — one Democrat and one Republican, which were organized by the campaigns.

What CEOs Are Saying

Canopy Growth CEO David Klein was “even more encouraged by the bipartisan support for federal cannabis reform on Capitol Hill,” following the discussions with key Congressional stakeholders.

“What was most evident during our conversations is the shared responsibility we have to drive legalization forward as we seek to jumpstart the U.S. economy and unlock the 1.2 million high quality jobs that federal legalization can create,” he said.

RELATED: Federally Legal Weed: Are The Stars Aligning? Will The Dems And GOP Meet In The Middle?

Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna and Chair of US Cannabis Council, added that these conversations about federal cannabis reform have shifted from “if” to “when” and “how” this eventuality will occur: “We are already working on specific strategies and legislative vehicles for the short term, followed by our longer-term goal of achieving full US federal legalization and descheduling of cannabis.”

Christian Sederberg, founding partner of Vicente Sederberg LLP, also weighed in exclusively.

marijuana legalization
Photo by Bet_Noire/Getty Images

“Members of Congress are more knowledgeable about key cannabis policy matters than ever before. They know the legal cannabis industry is now a significant driver of jobs and commerce in many states around the country, and they appreciate the urgency around reform at the federal level. We were pleased to find they were upbeat about the prospects for this session,” he voiced.

RELATED: What The New SCOTUS Could Mean For Marijuana Legalization

Finally, Kellen O’Keefe, CEO of Flower One called for more expedited action.

“The time to legalize and regulate cannabis is now. We have the support of the American people and need our elected officials in Washington to work together on incremental reform such as the Safe Banking Act,” said O’Keefe. “Our industry is the fastest-growing, highest tax-paying, job-creating, and community-enriching industry on the planet. It’s about time we get the support we need to ensure we can build a sustainable and equitable future for cannabis.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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