Grow, Gift, Repair

New marijuana group, including tobacco and alcohol firms, pushes for reform

The major stakeholders pushing Congress to enact sweeping federal marijuana reform just got bigger with the formation of a new band of businesses and industry experts who believe legalization is a foregone conclusion and that the real prize will be shaping a nationwide MJ regulatory framework.

According to a news release, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation is a combination of major players from mostly outside the traditional marijuana space but includes some that already have a financial stake in the industry.

Members include:

  • Altria Client Services, the producer of Marlboro cigarettes, a major investor in Canadian marijuana producer Cronos Group.
  • Constellation Brands, an alcohol company that invested nearly $4 billion in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth.
  • Molson Coors Beverage Co., a beermaker that has already entered the cannabis space with infused beverages.
  • The Brink’s Co., a private security firm.
  • National Association of Convenience Stores.
  • The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.
  • Convenience Distribution Association.

Those advising the coalition through its “Center of Excellence” include:

  • Former Minority Cannabis Business Association President Shanita Penny.
  • John Hudak of the Brookings Institution.
  • Brandy Axdahl of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
  • Derek Smith of the Resource Innovation Institute.
  • Caroline Kitchens of the R Street Institute.
  • Karmen Hanson of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • Dr. Staci Gruber of McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.