A major cannabis summit in Nevada brought together regulators, lawmakers, and law enforcement from across the US, all with the common goal of improving cannabis and vaping policies.
The summit was hosted by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH), in partnership with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
During a keynote called National Policy and Public Health Recommendations, Norman Birenbaum, New York’s Director of Cannabis Programs and inaugural president of the newly formed national Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA), joined Brooke Hoots, acting cannabis strategy lead for the CDC Division of Overdose Prevention, and Elyse Contreras, a program manager focused on cannabis health for the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
Birenbaum, Hoots, and Contreras focused on Colorado’s lessons learned, policy recommendations from states that have legalized, and the CDC’s “strategic plan for cannabis, gaps in the science, and the CDC’s plans to address them.”
Legalization discussions in New York are active, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has again included adult use in his budget, and top lawmakers Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes have reintroduced their own cannabis legalization bill. Birenbaum highlighted some “emerging issues” related to legalization in the Empire State. Among them: home cultivation, water soluble THC, “coordination with medical cannabis and hemp markets,” changes to federal regulations related to cannabis, and banking and financial services.
“We’re entering into this new era of cannabis 3.0 now in Virginia and New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, where we’re able to actually use the lessons that we’ve learned like those that we’ve just mentioned in Colorado,” Birenbaum said.
As a result of his work meeting with cannabis regulators around the country—for years, informally, and now formally with the launch of CANNRA—Birenbaum has a unique depth and breadth