New Organization to Focus on Passing the STATES Act, Hires Industry Veteran Neal Levine as CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C. (07/25/18) – The Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) proudly announced 14 founding board members today, building on the organization’s initial formation just a few months ago. CTF is a newly formed national coalition of cannabis-related businesses that represent all aspects of the industry including cultivators, dispensaries, wholesalers,
distributors, and ancillary businesses. CTF’s Board is focused on creating a professional, credible, and unified organization for the industry. Along with its member businesses, CTF will also build a dynamic network of associations and nonprofits that share a vision of creating sensible cannabis policy, promoting social responsibility, and leading the future ongoing professionalization of a highly regulated and increasingly organized cannabis industry.
Today’s legal cannabis industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, many of them in high-tech agricultural jobs, as well as manufacturing, distribution and retail. Roughly two-thirds of Americans now live in states where some form of cannabis is legal, and polling consistently shows over 70% of Americans support letting the states make their own cannabis policy and the federal government not interfering when they do.
“This industry has turned the corner and now we are bringing together stakeholders under the CTF banner to pool resources and unite in support of the policy goals that most everyone in the industry supports,” said John Lord, CEO of LivWell Enlightened Health and founding CTF Chairman of the Board. “We have formed a true, national trade federation to represent the entire burgeoning cannabis industry, which will also provide us with professional representation in Washington D.C. that we can rely on and so desperately need.”
CTF’s primary federal legislative focus will be to build support to pass the STATES Act, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exempt state licensed and regulated cannabis businesses from federal enforcement in conflict with state law.
The STATES Act, a bipartisan bill that has been endorsed by President Trump, is coauthored in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cory Gardner (R – CO) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D – MA), and in the U.S. House by Rep. David Joyce (R – OH) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D – OR). The STATES Act fixes the cannabis industry’s banking and tax issues while also removing the threat of Department of Justice criminal or civil asset forfeiture actions against state licensed and regulated cannabis businesses for conducting business in compliance with state law.
One of CTF’s first acts as an organization was appointing Neal Levine, a seasoned industry executive who has held key leadership positions in both the industry and the movement, as its CEO.
“The individuals and businesses that comprise the founding board members of CTF represent a diverse and broad segment of the growing and vibrant cannabis industry,” said Levine. “I am unbelievably excited to be working directly with CTF founding officers John Lord (Chair), Ed Conklin of PalliaTech (Vice-Chair), Shannon Fender of Native Roots (Secretary), and Kyle Sherman of Flowhub (Treasurer), along with all of our board members. We are committed to professionalizing the industry, pooling resources, and ending the state/federal conflict in a way that is both business friendly and inclusive to all.”
Remaining founding board members, in alphabetical order, include Dixie Brands, General Cannabis, Green Thumb Industries, The Grove, Keef Brands, Los Suenos Farms, Medicine Man, The Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company, TILT Holdings, and Viola Extracts.
“We are ready, with our allies on Capitol Hill, to lead the effort to enact the STATES Act. We are all working to end the state/federal conflict under the Controlled Substances Act, opening the industry to traditional banking services and increasing transparency across the board,” said Ed Conklin, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for PalliaTech and founding CTF Vice-Chair. “We invite every cannabis business as well as those supplying and servicing the cannabis industry along with critical coalitions such as veterans, doctors, patients, and other interested groups and individuals to join with us.”
About The Cannabis Trade Federation
The Cannabis Trade Federation is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to educating and advocating for sensible cannabis public policy.
CONTACT: Sara Croom
EMAIL: [email protected]