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Women Lawmakers From Across U.S. Hold Marijuana Conference And Tour Dispensary

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Thirty female state lawmakers from across the country are convening in Denver for a policy summit on marijuana issues this week.

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) is hosting a Marijuana Policy Summit on Thursday and Friday, where attendees will hear about the evolution of cannabis laws, licensing and tax structures in the industry, the science of marijuana and public health and safety concerns, among other topics.

Participants will also have the opportunity to tour a cannabis dispensary to “see how the process works in person and have the ability to connect directly with those working in the industry,” according to the summit agenda.

NFWL is “hosting a Marijuana Policy Summit to address a critical state policy issue that is unfolding in real time in legislatures across the country,” the event site states. “By bringing together a group of 30 elected women who are considering legalization in their state or municipality, or in states where legalization has already been established, we will provide an opportunity to connect and learn from one another and experts from all facets of the industry.”

“This was my first time attending a NFWL event, and the Evolution of Marijuana Policy Summit provided so much valuable information to bring back to Georgia,” said Georgia Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick (D) said in a press release. “The knowledge gained from this summit will help Georgia’s legislators navigate this new cannabis regulatory world in terms of best practices, taxes and any number of issues. I certainly look forward to sharing what I learned with my colleagues at the State Capitol.”

Nine NFWL members who also serve in state legislatures, including the organization’s chair, are scheduled to speak. That includes Colorado Rep. Lois Landgraf (R), Hawaii Sen. Donna Kim (D), Tennessee Rep. Karen Camper (D) and Montana Rep. Kimberly Dudik (D), who is also running to be her state’s attorney general.

Other notable speakers include government relations staffers with Weedmaps, former Colorado Attorney General Stanley Garnett and New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Dara Servis.

This appears to be the first time that NFWL organized a summit that exclusively concerns marijuana issues. The organization held a conference in 2016 that included a cannabis-focused panel, but it was part of a broader meeting to discuss a wide range of policies.

Here are the titles and descriptions of the marijuana summit’s main panels:

Marijuana Policy Across the States: To open the program, this session will look at how marijuana policy has changed over the years in the state that legalized it first, how policy differs across the country, and what is coming next.

Overview of Cannabis and Commercial Cannabis Operations: This session will provide an overview of products and potency, as well as provide a summary of cannabis licensing categories.

Developing a New Industry & Managing Expectations: Tax Structure and Budget Forecasting: This session will discuss how states are taxing legalized recreational marijuana, unique revenue forecasting challenges, revenue trends, and budgeting best practices.

A Careful Look to the Future: This session will look at the public health implications of marijuana policy legalization, and how to prevent youth usage.

The History and Potential of Cannabis Usage: This session will provide a summarized history of human interaction with cannabis, look at the uses in fighting disease and managing symptoms, and what potential there is for the future.

Cannabis and Human Health – A Focus on CBD: This session will address the importance of clinical trials, and look at how the healthcare industry is working in the marijuana space across the complex policy pictures in the states.

The Importance of Public Safety: This session will look at how marijuana legalization in Colorado posed significant challenges for law enforcement, what the resulting unanticipated consequences it has had on crime and public safety, and lessons learned.

Developing Functioning State Policy – Overview of Key Issues: This session will look at the necessary policy checklist a state needs to ensure a solid foundation for the implementation of marijuana legalization including closing the illegal market, establishing local control, addressing consumer and patient home grow programs, and coordinating departments and agencies.

American Bar Association Urges Congress To Let States Set Their Own Marijuana Policies

Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based senior editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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