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This program was recorded on July 1, 2020
Medical cannabis has been legal in California for over 20 years. Over the last two decades, a significant number of states have passed laws through citizen-initiated ballot measures and through their legislatures to legalize medical and adult-use cannabis. As of this spring, 33 states have medical cannabis and 11 have adult-use. Notwithstanding these vast steps forward in the issue, the Federal government has yet to address the current classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, and said classification makes the substance 100% federally illegal. Since the House of Representatives has pivoted to Democrat control, several measures have been introduced to fix the incongruity between state and federal law on cannabis, namely the SAFE Banking Act.
Dubbed “The Negotiator” by ColoradoBiz Magazine and a “power lobbyist” by Colorado Politics, Melissa Kuipers Blake is a leading lobbyist and seasoned political strategist with more than 20 years of national political experience at the local, state and federal levels of government. Melissa leads negotiations for her clients between elected officials throughout the country and in Washington, D.C., and is known for her issue knowledge, political strategy development and campaign fundraising prowess. When it comes to behind the scenes negotiations and subject matter expertise, Melissa is second to none. In addition to her national lobbying practice, Melissa serves as co-chair of Brownstein’s Cannabis & Industrial Hemp industry group, which helps shape legislative policies for these industries. Having worked on cannabis issues since day one of legalization in Colorado, Melissa has a foundational perspective on the growth of the industry and its players. She regularly shares that expertise from a statutory, regulatory, compliance and workplace perspective.
1 General Credit
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- Nuts and Bolts of the Legislation
- Political Realities of this Bill
- The STATES Act
- Appropriations Riders
- Descheduling Bills
- Other Cannabis-Related Legislation
- Cannabis in the Age of COVID-19
- What the Pandemic has Meant for the Industry
- How the Industry Will Survive This “New Normal” and Beyond