ALEXANDRIA, Va.—A new coalition to examine the legalization of recreational marijuana use launched today, with convenience retail support.
“While NACS does not have a position on whether recreational cannabis should be legalized at a federal level, our industry supports a comprehensive and responsible regulatory framework for federal cannabis legalization should it happen,” said Jon Taets, NACS director of government relations. “The convenience industry is often at the forefront of bringing new products to consumers, and our goal is to ensure that if a legal market emerges convenience retailers can compete on a level playing field if they choose to.”
The coalition includes a “center of excellence” with leading experts that are directly related or adjacent to cannabis policy. The center will facilitate thoughtful discussion and analysis of various policy questions arising from potential federal cannabis legalization. The center also serves as a neutral forum where issue experts can engage in robust dialogue, address intersectional issues and offer science-based justifications for public policy questions as complicated and diverse as taxation, state preemption and youth use prevention.
Coalition members include diverse stakeholders and experts on public safety, access to capital, patient access, youth prevention and criminal justice reform. These members include Altria Client Services, The Brink’s Company, Constellation Brands Inc., Convenience Distribution Association, Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and Molson Coors Beverage Company. NACS is the only retail member of the founding coalition.
“Today, more than 100 million Americans have access to regulated adult-use cannabis, but that state-by-state patchwork approach exists absent a federal framework that is guided by science, data and consistent standards that exist for all other adult-use products,” said Andrew Freedman, executive director of the coalition. “The federal government has a unique role in cannabis policy, and the highly regulated industries and stakeholders in this coalition bring expertise from across the public health, public safety, social equity and youth prevention communities that are prepared to work with others to help shape a responsible framework for federal legalization of cannabis,” he said.
“By combining perspectives from highly regulated businesses, subject matter experts and advocates including in the social justice space, we’re laying the foundation for a meaningful and thoughtful dialogue on federal cannabis policy,” said Shanita Penny, advisor to the coalition and former president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. “Led by science,research and a deep understanding of history, this coalition will be laser-focused on addressing longstanding issues, including minority access to capital and criminal justice reform, to get a federal cannabis regulatory framework done right.”
More information about the coalition can be found at www.CPEAR.org.