Ed Perlmutter, Cory Gardner And What They've Done For Cannabis: A Political Panel You Don't Want To Miss

While marijuana legalization generally faces opposion from members of the Republican party, more and more politicians from both sides of the aisle are expressing support for cannabis and are acknowledging the failure of the War on Drugs.

According to an October poll, the majority of US residents support federal cannabis legalization, which confirmed a 2021 Gallup poll that showed as high as 68% support for cannabis legalization. Another survey confirmed that 71% of Americans believe that legalizing cannabis improves states' economies. 

So, now what?

Public opinion is limited without politicians following up with bills, proposals and pushing until the end. Thankfully, more and more lawmakers are getting on board, either because they're being swayed by public pressure, they're shifting their views, or both.

In September, former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Reggie Babin will sit down together at one of the biggest cannabis conferences in the world and discuss the need for marijuana reforms. The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference raises awareness about important issues, connects companies and investors and helps the industry grow and develop in a safe and beneficial atmosphere.

This political panel, among many others, will be moderated by Saphira Galoob who is the principal and CEO of the Liaison Group, which is the first and only DC-based lobbying firm focused on the marijuana industry. Galloob was the driving force behind the creation of the National Cannabis Roundtable

To give you an idea what issues will be tackled on this panel, let’s take a look at Gardner, Perlmutter and Babin’s previous action in the industry. 

Perlmutter’s Passion For Safe Banking In Cannabis 

Perlmutter, along with Rep. Denny Heck introduced legislation to provide access to banking and financial services for cannabis businesses a decade ago. In 2017, the measure was rebranded as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support seven times but flopped in the Senate.

In 2022, industry experts were optimistic about the measure getting approved as part of the  defense bill, but that didn’t happen. So, at this point, financial institutions are still not able provide services to marijuana businesses even in states with legal programs. Perlmutter continues to fight for banking reform, which he's called one of the biggest obstacles the industry faces. 

Last October, when President Biden pardoned federal cannabis offenders and ordered a review of marijuana's classification under federal law, Perlummter welcomed the move though he highlighted it will not resolve the banking problem. 

Gardner: A “Champion Of The Cannabis Industry” 

Cory Gardner, US Senator from 2005 to 2011, went from opposing Colorado Amendment 64 that legalized cannabis, to supporting it. In 2015, he joined Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to introduce the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act. 

Five years ago, Gardner blasted then AG Jeff Sessions for threatening to crack down on Colorado's cannabis dispensaries. Gardner placed a temporary hold on some of Trump’s judicial nominees in response. 

In 2019, Gardner and Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act that would exempt state-legal marijuana activity from its provisions.

In 2020, Politico wrote that Gardner “emerged as a champion of the cannabis industry in a GOP-controlled chamber led by anti-marijuana hawks.” He also co-sponsored the SAFE Banking Act of 2019.

Reggie Babin

Babin worked with Chuck Schumer on various issues, including cannabis reform, will share his legal expertise. If you've got any questions on cannabis compliance, Babin has answers.

Then, there’s moderator Saphira Galoob who has dealt with federal policy initiatives for leading cannabis operators like Cresco CRLBF and Pura Vida as well as the California Cannabis Industry Association. 

That’s that. This panel features everyone needed for marijuana policy actions – politicians, legal experts and influential lobbyists. Don’t miss it!

Come and join us at Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago this Sept 27-28. Get your tickets today before prices increase and secure a spot at the epicenter of cannabis investment and branding.

Photo: Benzinga edit with images by Wikimedia Commons and Kindel Media on Pexels


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Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner

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