The Congressman and other cannabis and industry leaders will speak during a two-program, which begins 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST). For tickets register here.
On Tuesday, House Democrats announced a new COVID-19 stimulus bill with a provision incorporating the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks to offer financial services to legal cannabis businesses The House passed the SAFE act in September but has been collecting dust in the Senate.
“The inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act is recognition that cannabis businesses have been classified as essential,” Blumenauer said. “Prohibiting these businesses from banking and forcing cash-only transactions in the middle of a global health crisis is irresponsible and wrong.”
NJ Cannabis Insider first reported last month that lawmakers were trying to include the bill in the next stimulus legislation. The argument was that many patients using legal marijuana were at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus and forcing them to deal in cash also put employees in jeopardy.
Along with the congressman, several industry power players will be taking part in webcast, produced by NJ Cannabis Insider in collaboration with Advance 360.
Here’s the lineup of speakers and panels:
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
As a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Blumenauer has been a leading advocate for cannabis policy reform in the House of Representatives. He and Ed Perlmutter, D-CO, recently introduced the Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act in the House of Representatives.
2020 was supposed to be a banner year for cannabis legalization, but COVID and internal state politics have slowed this up. Which states still hold promise for cannabis reform and adult-use legalization this year?
Steve Hoffman, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
Hoffman is the chairman of the MCCC. He has an extensive background in business and finance having served as a senior executive in the management consulting and technology industries. Most recently, he was the CEO of two venture capital backed start-ups: ThinkFire and Exchange Solutions.
Katie Neer, Acreage Holdings
Neer is the director of government affairs for Acreage Holdings, a multi-state cannabis operator. Neer focuses on state regulatory and legislative issues facing the cannabis industry. Prior to her role with Acreage Holdings, Neer practiced law and formerly served as the assistant secretary for general government and financial services in the New York State Governor’s Office.
Chris Melillo, Curaleaf
Melillo senior vice president of retail operations for Curaleaf, is currently tasked with spearheading the company’s dispensary expansion rollout and establishing a consistent customer experience for retail stores across the U.S. He previously served as senior director of stores in North America for Nike, and as vice president of stores for DTLR/Villa, a leading footwear and apparel retailer.
Paul Josephson, Duane Morris
Josephson, a partner at Duane Morris, has been counseling a wide range of highly regulated industries for the past seven years. He advises industry-leading multistate operators active in New York and across the country, investors and non-cannabis businesses concerning investments, licensing, regulations and public policy. As policy counsel for the N.J. Cannabis Industry Association, Josephson has been a key advocate reforming New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, establishing a comprehensive framework for adult use regulation, educating public officials on cannabis regulation, and advising industry associations in other states.
What’s the state of cannabis and hemp reform among states in the U.S. in the time of COVID?
Karen O’Keefe, Marijuana Policy Project
O’Keefe is the director of state policies for Marijuana Policy Project. In her current role, she manages’s MPP’s grassroots and direct lobbying efforts in many state legislatures. O’Keefe 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.
Imani Dawson, Minorities for Medical Marijuana
is vice president and managing partner of MJM Strategy, a minority-led strategic consulting group for the cannabis industry; and the founder and president for Tribe Called Curl Media and as communications director for Minorities for Medical Marijuana.
Joy Beckerman, Hemp Ace International
Beckerman is founder of Hemp Ace International, which provides consulting, legal support and expert witness testimony, is one of the country’s leading voices for the hemp industry. She is the regulatory officer and industry liaison for Elixinol. A senior advisor to Colorado Hemp Works, she also is an executive at the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and the U.S. Hemp Authority.
After the live event, attendees will have an opportunity to continue the discussion and network in a closed forum, moderated by journalists covering the marijuana and hemp industries.
To reserve tickets, go to advance360.com/cannabis-insider-live.
NJ Cannabis Insider, a local sponsor, is a weekly subscriber-based trade journal produced by NJ Advance Media, which has also produced several live events in the past two years. For this event, it 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.
For more information, you may reach us via email here.