The head of the House Rules Committee believes the appetite for cannabis reform remains strong and is “closer than we’ve been to getting this done.”
“The decisions being made by some states during this pandemic I hope will add urgency to reforms we clearly need to make on the federal level, especially surrounding policies toward medical cannabis,” said Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who will be a keynote speaker at Advance 360 and NJ Cannabis Insider’s upcoming webinar — Cannabis Reform 2020: America’s Growing Pains and Possibilities on Monday, July 13 from 1-2:30 p.m. EST. (10 a.m. PST)
In his role as chairman, McGovern, a supporter of decriminalization and expanding access to medical cannabis, has ended the longstanding practice of blocking amendments examining our nation’s marijuana policies from being debated on the House Floor.
McGovern who co-sponsored Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s cannabis banking reform said he was proud to see it pass the floor of the House earlier this year.
“It was a landmark moment,” he said. “I hope it spurs more leaders on the other side of the Capitol to also take action on this, which at the end of the day is also a matter of public safety. It may take another year and different leadership in the Senate, but we are closer than we’ve been to getting this done.”
Along with the congressman, several industry power players will take part in the 90-minute panel discussions, they are:
Toi Hutchinson is the Illinois cannabis czar. In her role as the Illinois Regulation Oversight Officer, she’s overseen the roll out of statewide legalization of adult-use cannabis, which has seen nearly $240 million in sales since the beginning of the year.
David Clapper is the chief financial officer of Ethos Cannabis. Earlier this year, Ethos, which is one of the licensees in the Keystone State, announced a clinical research partnership with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Pennsylvania.
Roz McCarthy is the founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana. McCarthy, who was named on High Times 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry in 2018, is responsible for the day-to-day operations and is the chief strategist involved in developing advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote awareness, information, and education about the efficacy of medical marijuana.
Leo Bridgewater was an Army specialist who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and the national outreach director for veteran affairs at Minorities for Medical Marijuana. Bridgewater, an advisory board member at the CWCBExpo, has many roles in the cannabis space but he’s known primarily for his advocacy for veterans and cannabis reform including his work to pass legislation for additional recognition and coverage of medical treatment options.
Karen O’Keefe is the director of state policies for Marijuana Policy Project. O’Keefe manages MPP’s grassroots and direct lobbying efforts in many state legislatures. She has played a significant role in passing more than a dozen major cannabis policy reforms, including managing MPP’s state legislative department during the legalization campaigns in Vermont and Illinois.
Justin Zaremba, an NJ Cannabis Insider editor and a longtime news reporter for NJ.com, will moderate the discussion.
Audience members will be able to post questions in advance (here) of the July 13 webinar, which starts 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST). After the live event, attendees will have an opportunity to continue the discussion and network in a closed forum, moderated by journalists covering marijuana and hemp industries.
To reserve tickets, go to advance360.com/cannabis-insider-live.
As with its May event, featuring Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Cannabis Insider has has partnered with Advance Local sister media groups across the country, including Staten Island Advance, Advance Media New York, PennLive, LehighValleyLive, MassLive, MLive, Advance Ohio and Oregonian Media Group.
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