US Cannabis Council Sets Its Sights on Sweeping Federal Cannabis Reforms in 2021

ArentFox Schiff

Arent Fox

On February 8, 2021, a wide cross-section of cannabis industry advocates and heavy hitters founded the United States Cannabis Council (“USCC”).
USCC's Mission

The USCC is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization whose mission is “to build a future of legal access to cannabis delivered through an equitable and values-driven industry by advancing cannabis legalization at the federal and state level, and promoting restorative justice for communities harmed by cannabis prohibition.”

This strategic alliance—the first and largest of its kind—approaches reform through the lens of social equity and restorative justice. In addition to descheduling and legalization, the USCC advocates for the expungement of criminal records and release for past cannabis offenses, with the understanding that current cannabis policies have disproportionate effects on different communities. The USCC also seeks to increase safety standards and accountability as the industry continues its transition to the legal market.

Although other national cannabis groups and lobbyists already exist, the USCC hopes to serve as a unifying entity, bringing together advocates to create a single policy agenda for Congress. The USCC believes that this unified front will allow it to engage in more effective advocacy and better carry out its mission.

USCC’s Founding Members

As part of its mission to create a unified voice for cannabis policy reform, the USCC has called on a diverse group of individuals, businesses, and organizations to act as its founding members. Among them are long-time advocates in the cannabis industry, including USCC’s interim CEO Steve Hawkins, a board member and executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project; USCC’s acting board chairman Christian Sederberg, a partner at national cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg; and Headcount’s Cannabis Voter Project, an organization focused on informing and registering voters with interest in cannabis policy. The USCC has also ventured outside the cannabis industry to include founding members Scotts Miracle-Gro and the law firms Foley Hoag LLP and Husch Blackwell LLP.

Other USCC founding members include:

  • Acreage Holdings
  • Akerna Corp.
  • American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp
  • Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine
  • BellRock Brands
  • Buckeye Relief
  • Cannabis Trade Federation
  • CanCore Concepts
  • Canopy Growth Corporation
  • Columbia Care Inc.
  • Cresco Labs Inc.
  • Cronos Group
  • Curaleaf
  • DNA Genetics
  • Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
  • Eaze
  • Flowhub
  • Good Chemistry
  • iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc.
  • Jushi
  • Lightshade
  • LivWell Enlightened Health
  • MedicineMan
  • MedMen
  • Native Roots Cannabis Company
  • 1906 New Highs
  • Organa Brands
  • PAX
  • PharmaCann
  • ProKure
  • Raw Garden
  • Schwazze
  • The Grove Cannabis Dispensary
  • Urbn Leaf
  • Veterans Cannabis Project
  • Vireo
  • Wana

The timing of this group coalescing is intentional. The USCC hopes to capitalize on a friendly political climate to usher through significant cannabis reforms at the federal level in 2021.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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