What started with the formation of the New Federalism Fund back in March of 2017, has taken on increasing momentum as the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) has clearly emerged as the professional “Voice of the Cannabis Industry”. After many months of building a formidable team to represent the Cannabis Industry’s interests at the federal level on Capitol Hill, CTF, which was founded on 4/20/2018 and formally launched in July of 2018, released a list of its board members to CBE Press that includes a diverse group of industry operators and ancillary businesses.
CTF Founder and CEO, Neal Levine, told CBE when the organization was formally launched last July, “Our mission is to end the federal/state conflict in a business-friendly way that creates a professional cannabis industry that is inclusive to all. Our long-term goal is to help to build and represent a diverse and vibrant industry. Our short-term goal is to bring as many allies together as possible to pool the resources necessary to pass the STATES Act.” Levine and CTF are living up to that promise.
This news of the completed board comes on the heels of a flurry announcements over the last several weeks which has included:
- The hiring of lobbyists and over a dozen associates from five firms. The CTF lobbying team consists of the firms Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Jochum Shore & Trossevin, The Raben Group, Navigators Global, and theGROUP.
- The announcements of a team with years of cannabis policy and regulatory experience including NCIA Co-Founder Steve Fox of VS Strategies and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (an NFF supporter while serving the great state of Florida) to The Executive Team that also includes industry pioneer Heather Azzi and beltway insider and influential Linda Mercado Greene.
- Yet to be formally announced, the hiring of longtime Levine ally, Nevadan, Joe Brezny as CTF’s Political Director. Brezny was the lead on the 2016 Nevada legalization effort.
The 24 board members, whom have put up $100,000 each to occupy a seat, include representatives from the licensee and ancillary business community as well as two companies that are composed of plant touching and non-plant touching entities.
Cannabis Producer, Processor and Retailer Operator Board Members (Names and HQ locations) 15 Total Licensees
CannaCraft (CA), Cresco Labs (IL), Curaleaf Holdings (MA), Dixie Brands (CO), Green Thumb Industries (IL), The Grove (NV), iAnthus Holdings (NY), Keef Brands (CO), Lightshade Dispensaries (CO), LivWell Enlightened Health (CO), Los Suenos Farms (CO), Native Roots (CO), Reef Dispensaries (Tryke Companies, NV), Surterra Wellness (FL) and Viola Extracts (MI).
Ancillary Business Board Members (Names and HQ locations) 7 Total Ancillary Businesses
Budding Solutions (MD), FlowHub (CO), General Cannabis (CO), MKSI Investments (CA), Pax Labs (CA), The Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company (OH) and Vicente Sederberg (CO)
Hybrid Companies (Licensees & Ancillary Businesses/Names and HQ locations) 2 Licensee/AB
Medicine Man Technologies (CO), TILT Holdings (CN)
In addition to the 10 states and one (1) Canadian province that are home to the headquarters of the board members, operators on the board and the leadership team have an operating presence in many of the states with regulated programs (Adult-use or Medical Marijuana) including, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IA, IL, MA, ME, MI, NC, NM, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TX, and VT.
With the capital secured to finance the industry’s need for professional lobbying in Washington DC, CTF will be announcing shortly its inclusive membership offerings which Levine assures CBE will honor CTF’s mission to create a professional, diverse and unified federation that represents the Cannabis Industries interest’s federally.
At some point, CTF will have to address policy issues that are being raised at the state level. In the past week, it was reported that the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association (NYMCIA) has aggressively lobbied NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to keep a homegrown option out of the equation for a NY state adult-use regulated program. From a policy perspective, this clearly seems like the licensed NY operators are saying its ok for them to operate legally but not for their potential consumer base.
In Illinois, medical marijuana growers have formed a political action committee and are spending money in an attempt to limit the market if recreational use of the drug is legalized in the state, a lobbying position that seems counter to an open market system where execution and competition typically decides who the winners and losers will be.
Other issues that will eventually find their way into the national spotlight include state backed social equity programs that are already being watched closely by some in the halls of The U.S. Congress. Interstate and export/import commerce, where our friends in the Great White North have seized upon as competitive advantages will need to be addressed as well in the months and years ahead.
The nascent Cannabis Industry has come a long way towards realizing the end of prohibition and the issues that have plagued our great nation and its failed War on Drugs. CTF , its impressive board and Levine are poised to carry the mantra for the next great American Industry and all eyes are on their next steps.
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