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While the federal government has been slow to legalize marijuana, states are leading the way. And in the absence of federal leadership, they've formed a group to help share information and regulatory best practices.
On Thursday, Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency became a founding member of CANNRA, the Cannabis Regulators Association. The non-partisan group is made up of cannabis regulators from 19 states.
"The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has always strived to keep Michigan aligned with the best practices and at the forefront of innovative policy in this new industry," MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in a statement. "Being a founding member of the association and serving as an executive officer is an exciting opportunity as we strive to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to marijuana."
Brisbo was also named Third Vice President of CANNRA.
According to a press release, "The Cannabis Regulators Association is not an advocacy group and takes no formal position for or against cannabis legalization, but rather seeks to provide government jurisdictions with unbiased information to help make informed decisions when considering whether or how to legalize or expand regulated cannabis."
CANNRA founding members include the principal cannabis regulators from 19 states, including Michigan, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.
The formation of the group comes ahead of an anticipated vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The historic legislation would be the biggest move yet to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
The MORE Act was sponsored by Senator and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Following Tuesday's election, 15 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and another 16 have decriminalized it. The majority of voters support legalization.
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