Cannabis Industry's Top CEOs Call On President Biden To Issue Pardons: Can These Multi-Billion Dollar Companies Sway Policy?

The CEOs of Akerna, Anacostia Organics, Bridge City Collective, Canopy Growth, Central Coast Agriculture, Columbia Care, Cresco Labs, Cronos Group, CULTA, Curaleaf, Flower One, Flowhub, Forian, Holistic Industries, HOUSEPLANT, Nuka Enterprises, NuProject, PAX Labs, PharmaCann, Schwazze, TGIG and Wana Brands, all members of the US Cannabis Council, issued the following statement this week:

We are leaders in America's rapidly-growing regulated cannabis industry. With over 300,000 employees and $18 billion in revenue last year, our industry generates substantial local and state tax revenue and fuels economic growth. It is frankly unconscionable that countless Americans are in prison or struggling to overcome criminal records because they bought or sold the product at the very core of our business.

Advocates for cannabis reform cheered when President Biden pledged on the campaign trail to decriminalize cannabis and grant a blanket pardon. 'Anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged,' he pledged. We are now many months into the Biden presidency, and there has been no action on this front.

Cannabis prohibition has negatively impacted millions of Americans -- Black Americans most severely of all. Ending cannabis prohibition and expunging records for non-violent offenses is vital to criminal justice reform and racial equity. What's more, over two-thirds of Americans support legalization, and 36 states have legalized medical and/or adult-use cannabis. Cannabis should be a signature issue for a president looking to unite the nation, strengthen the economy and address historic wrongs.

As leaders in the cannabis industry, we urgently call on President Biden to meet this historic moment by issuing a blanket pardon for non-violent cannabis offenses. We stand ready to meet with the Administration and work together with Congress to advance a broad range of criminal justice and social equity initiatives as we bring a close to the prohibition era.

The statement was signed by the following cannabis industry CEOs (alphabetical by last name):

  • David Alport, CEO of Bridge City Collective
  • Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs CRLBF
  • Peter Barsoom, CEO of Nuka Enterprises
  • Dan Barton, CEO of Forian, Inc. FORA
  • Joe Bayern, CEO of Curaleaf CURLF
  • Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna KERN
  • Adam Cahan, CEO of PAX Labs
  • John De Friel, CEO of Central Coast Agriculture
  • Justin Dye, CEO of Schwazze SHWZ
  • Josh Genderson, CEO of Holistic Industries
  • Linda Mercado Greene, CEO of Anacostia Organics
  • Jeannette Ward Horton, CEO of NuProject
  • David Klein, CEO of Canopy Growth CGC
  • Demetri Kouretas, CEO of TGIG, LLC
  • Mikey Mohr, CEO of HOUSEPLANT
  • Brett Novey, CEO of PharmaCann Inc.
  • Kellen O'Keefe, CEO of Flower One
  • Kurt Schmidt, CEO of Cronos Group CRON
  • Kyle Sherman, CEO of Flowhub
  • Allison Siegel, CEO of CULTA
  • Nick Vita, CEO of Columbia Care CCHWF
  • Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands
  • Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
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