Cannabis regulators from 19 states have formed the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) – an effort to link regulators across states to collaborate on industry policies and best practices. The nonpartisan group will share regulation resources and expertise on medical and adult-use cannabis and hemp.
The group’s founding members include regulators from Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington state.
Norman Birenbaum, director of Cannabis Programs for New York State, will serve as the inaugural president of the association. Birenbaum previously served as the top cannabis industry regulator in Rhode Island before taking the New York job last year.
“The association will strive to create and promote harmony and standardization across jurisdictions which choose to legalize and regulate cannabis. [It] will also work to ensure federal officials benefit from the vast experiences of states across the nation to ensure any changes to federal law adequately address states’ needs and priorities.” – Birenbaum in a statement
The organization’s executive officers will include Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency; Jim Burack, director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division; and Rick Garza, director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, as vice presidents. Tyler Klimas, executive director of Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board will serve as secretary-treasurer.
In a statement, CANNRA said the group aims to “facilitate communication and information sharing between subject matter experts in regulatory approaches for industrial hemp, medical cannabis, and adult-use cannabis.”
“This will include exchanges with research organizations, public health officials, policymakers, legal authorities, advocacy groups, and cannabis industry participants,” the group said.
The group emphasized that it is not an advocacy group and would not take a formal position for or against legalization.
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