Our Principles

Our coalition is working to create the best possible policy solution for cannabis regulation.

The principles formulated by our Center of Excellence provide an intellectual framework for creating a thoughtful and comprehensive federal regulatory model for cannabis.

  • Good Governance: The regulatory system shall only contain laws, rules, and regulations that are predictable, equitable, achievable, internally consistent, and enforceable. The cannabis industry shall comply with a comprehensive inventory control, quality control, and quality assurance program. Good governance should include open lines of communication, and constant coordination between all levels of governance throughout the cannabis industry.
  • Youth Use Prevention: Legalization should draw upon all available best practices from tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and other substances to prevent non-medical underage cannabis use.
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Prevention: Legalization should draw upon all available best practices to prevent and treat cannabis use disorder, functional substance abuse, and misuse that has a deleterious effect on a consumer’s quality of life.
  • Criminal Justice Reform: We support cannabis legalization approaches that acknowledge the disproportionate harms criminal prohibition has had, especially on people of color and their communities. We support those who call for the expungement of cannabis-related criminal records. This approach should exclude automatic expungements of records belonging to repeat violators of impaired driving laws.
  • Social Equity: We support approaches that provide communities that have borne the cost of criminalization real access to a legalized cannabis market. And we support the investment of tax revenues generated from a legalized industry into those very communities. We support approaches that remove explicit barriers to entry into the industry that have affected minority communities.
  • Small Business: We support approaches that promote and ensure market access to for small businesses in the industry and provides restorative opportunities for communities in which they reside.
  • Promote Research: Legalization policies should be designed to promote significant growth in properly designed research studies: (1) Cannabis policy should underscore the importance of and expedite critical research required to understand the benefits and harms of cannabis use. (2) Where avoidable harm is demonstrated, the cannabis regulatory system should do whatever is practicable to mitigate that harm. (3) Regulation and incentives should facilitate the development of FDA-approved cannabis and cannabis-derived drugs (e.g. an expedited FDA review process for novel treatments and waiver of requirements that are not necessary to protect public health) while prohibiting the marketing of cannabis products with medical claims that are not supported by requisite FDA approval.
  • Patient Access: Patients should not be denied the opportunity to try cannabis because of limited research resulting from decades of federal inaction. However, the industry must guard against unscrupulous actors who may prey on vulnerable patients. Further, a federal framework should ensure that doctors may make appropriate recommendations.
  • Sound Tax Policy: The cannabis market requires regulation, and that regulation should be funded with reasonable taxes imposed on cannabis and cannabinoid products. But tax policy should strike a balance between generating new revenue and encouraging a responsible and legal industry. Tax levels should be set at levels that do not perpetuate the illicit market.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Legalization regulations should address environmental concerns by promoting sustainable and water usage, as well as promoting growing practices in a manner that does not lead to negative outcomes for poorer communities. An approach to environmental sustainability should consider the relationship between climate change and economic development.
  • Impaired Driving: Legalization must include a holistic plan to deal with impaired driving. A federal framework must also include approaches to filling current gaps in impaired driving data with appropriate research studies and funding the establishment and use of technology for detecting and measuring impairment.

The Center of Excellence is comprised of leading experts across a range of subjects either directly related or adjacent to cannabis policy, and its purpose is to serve as a neutral forum where experts can engage in robust dialogue, address intersectional issues, and offer science-based justifications for public policy solutions for cannabis regulation.