Federal Cannabis Regulations: Working Group Releases Principles For Federal Regulations And Reform

Group—Made Up of Current and Former Regulators, Public Health Professionals, Criminal Reform Advocates, Civil Rights Attorneys & Social Equity Industry Leaders—Weighs in on What Just & Equitable Regulation Should Look Like

April 20, 2021 — Washington, D.C — Today, the Federal Cannabis Regulations Working Group released its Principles for Federal Cannabis Regulations & Reform, outlining what a federal regulatory framework—grounded in justice and social equity—should look like. The working group was convened by the Drug Policy Alliance at the beginning of this year.

Throughout a series of meetings and in-depth conversations, the group—made up of cannabis state regulators, public health professionals, criminal justice reform advocates, civil rights attorneys, people working with directly impacted communities in the cannabis industry, re-entry advocates, academics and an expert involved in Canada’s cannabis regulation—has identified key principles that should guide the development of federal cannabis regulation policies. The principles document encourages and provides guidance on issues related to racial justice, equity, preventing underage use, elimination of lifelong consequences, medical use, taxation, and more. This release precedes the group’s continued effort to develop and roll out a more comprehensive set of recommendations for Congress on crucial issues such as – but not limited to – which federal agency should regulate cannabis (and to what extent), what kind of product should cannabis be regulated as, expungement, workforce development, medical use, non-commercial activity, and enforcement.

"As we get closer to federal marijuana legalization being a reality in the United States, it’s more urgent than ever before to create a regulatory framework that both comprehensively addresses the harms of prohibition and ensures just and equitable future outcomes," said Queen Adesuyi, Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance's Office of National Affairs. "We have already seen the way industry is jockeying for the opportunity to regulate themselves, and it is critical that advocates—who are representing the interest of those who have been most impacted by prohibition, and those who are in the best position to prevent future harms—set the agenda for how federal cannabis regulation should work. The legal cannabis industry offers an opportunity to encourage and build out an emerging marketplace that is intentionally accessible to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and working class entrepreneurs …

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