US marijuana reform a ‘tall order’ for Congress, new MJ coalition chief says

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The executive director of a newly formed alliance of business interests dedicated to influencing marijuana regulations believes full federal legalization remains years away and that it will be a “tall order” for the current Congress to get a comprehensive legalization bill passed.

“We’ll have some form of national legalization, either by state by state, or federal legalization, within the next four to five years,” Andrew Freedman, the executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation, said Wednesday.

“But I think it’s a tall order” for the current Congress.

Freedman said his sense is disconnects remain among the various organizations that are advocating on Capitol Hill for marijuana legalization and that there needs to be more unanimity among stakeholders.

“First of all, there would need to be unity and consensus within all the groups who are pro-legalization,” Freedman said.

“There needs to be a pretty unified vision for what (legalization) would even look like. … There’s beginning to become that unified vision, but it’s going to take a lot more work.”

Freedman also said that industry feedback to the formation of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation was “excitement mixed with trepidation.”

The new group includes several companies from the alcohol and tobacco industries, which many smaller marijuana companies view with suspicion.

Freedman said his coalition’s work is intended to be “complementary” to those of other legalization advocates, “not combative.”

– John Schroyer