Recap: Cannabis Regulators Association External Stakeholder Meeting | Vicente Sederberg LLP

The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) recently convened the first-ever meeting of external stakeholders in Seattle, Washington. For two days, regulators and stakeholders from over forty states came together to discuss cannabis legalization, the challenges of legalization at the state level, and to exchange ideas in a way that the industry cannabis has never seen before. The event gave attendees the opportunity to be in person, exchange ideas, network with industry and government agencies, and come away with renewed energy to improve an already growing industry.

Sessions at the meeting addressed issues ranging from cannabis regulatory standards, interstate commerce, achieving social and economic equity, and delivering on the promise of legalization to addressing social justice, preventing youth access, promote consumer safety and public health, and how data and technology help shape future policy. All of these topics provided space to share ideas and express differences of opinion in a way that was productive and created strengths for participants.

As someone who has now been involved in the legalization of adult use from a government and industry perspective, I felt especially fortunate to have been in the room with these distinguished individuals. Having the opportunity to discuss my experiences as commissioner of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Board, while listening to current regulators, staff, and industry experts on what they are seeing was an opportunity I would have appreciated five years ago when I was a regulator. The fluid exchange of education and ideas throughout the two days will most certainly give the cannabis community better tools as the markets come online and mature.

CANNRA’s commitment to creating a dialogue with people on all sides could be a game-changer in how regulators approach rulemaking as markets mature. I look forward to future meetings.

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Shirlene J. Manley