While the U.S. cannabis industry is hoping for federal decriminalization during Joe Biden’s presidency, parliamentarians from 19 states have formed an independent association to facilitate the implementation of cannabis policy changes.
According to a press release issued last Thursday, the regulators formed the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) to coordinate the implementation of legalization. Although the association is not actively involved in the legalization process, it aims to inform the best regulatory practices.
Building on the experience of States
In particular, CANNRA will draw on the experience of its members in coordinating existing cannabis programs in their respective States.
The Cannabis Regulators Association will provide an indispensable forum for regulators to engage with each other to identify and develop best practices, create model policies that protect public health and safety, and promote regulatory certainty for industry participants,” said Norman Birenbaum, inaugural President of CANNRA.
Also, CANNRA emphasized that it will not advocate for or against cannabis reform. Instead, the association will provide “unbiased information to help make informed decisions when considering whether or how to legalize or expand regulated cannabis.
The scope of CANNRA’s recommendations will cover areas such as “packaging, labeling, advertising, testing, social equity, licensing, seed tracking at scale, application, inspections, pesticide use, tax structures, product approval, tax collection, patient qualification and registration, product processing and manufacturing, industrial hemp and CBD products, banking and payment processing.
The creation of CANNRA comes at a time when 5 new American states have legalized cannabis in one way or another this November.
Regulatory framework and the cannabis market
Norman Birenbaum is currently Director of Cannabis Programs in New York State. Regarding his chairmanship at CANNRA, he added that the association “will also work to ensure that the federal government draws on the extensive experience of states across the country to ensure that any changes to federal law adequately address state needs and priorities.
CANNRA’s original members are from 19 different states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maryland, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Illinois, and Rhode Island.
Other states are expected to join soon.