Regulators from Cannabis-Legal States Form National Association – JD Supra

Late in 2020, the new national organization Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) was formed. While not much has been publicized about the organization’s work or efforts since it officially launched, its formation represents a major step towards unifying cannabis regulations and policies on a national level by organizing participating legalized states (medical, recreational, or both) into a formal group. The organization will consider approaches to common issues in regulating legalized systems among the states, and provides states with various resources as they adopt regulatory schemes. Given the recent announcement of a senate proposal to legalize cannabis on a national level, paying attention to CANNRA is going to be of increasing importance.

What is CANNRA?
CANNRA is a formal association of regulators from 19 legalized states across the country, including Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Utah. These are all states that have legalized cannabis in some fashion. The goal of the organization is to “create and promote harmony and standardization across jurisdictions which choose to legalize and regulate cannabis,” and to work to ensure “federal officials benefit from the vast regulatory and implementation experiences of states across the nation to ensure any changes to federal law adequately address states’ needs and priorities.”

Can cannabis industry members participate and join this organization?
No, currently CANNRA membership is only open to regulatory bodies and not industry participants or advocates. However, if such associations in other regulated industries (such as NABCA, for alcohol regulators) are any indication, at some point CANNRA will likely open up membership and/or sponsorship opportunities to non-regulators, which will present unique opportunities for insight into regulatory developments, trends, and issues throughout the country.

What benefits does CANNRA bring to the industry?
Although cannabis businesses cannot join CANNRA, the organization’s

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