June 14, 2024


Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation Announces New Leadership to Propel Cannabis Policy Forward 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) announced Tate Bennett and Shanita Penny as its new co-executive directors. Bennett leads the coalition’s government relations efforts, while Penny drives the strategic direction of CPEAR and its Center of Excellence. This change in leadership comes as former executive director Andrew Freedman pivots full-time to the artificial intelligence sector.


“The evolving federal landscape for cannabis presents us with unprecedented opportunities for collaboration,” said Shanita Penny. “A federal cannabis framework will require 60 votes and the increasing support for sensible regulation, as evidenced by bills like the STATES Act, is promising. I look forward to co-leading CPEAR with Tate to continue driving federal cannabis reform grounded in science and data.”


“CPEAR has consistently proven to be a trusted resource for congressional offices, and we are committed to maintaining that reputation,” said Tate Bennett. “The tide is turning, and members of Congress are recognizing the reality of cannabis reform. Both Shanita and I are determined to continue advocating for bipartisan federal cannabis regulation that respects the needs of law enforcement, veterans, and states’ rights.”


Shanita Penny is an entrepreneur and investor who was the former president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. She has advised municipal and state policymakers on equitable cannabis policy and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee regarding the role of small businesses in the cannabis industry. Before joining CPEAR, Tate Bennett served as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade, and Food Assistance at the White House National Economic Council and has extensive experience fostering bipartisan engagement on the Farm Bill.


Andrew Freedman, CPEAR’s exiting executive director, has been an integral part of CPEAR since its inception. During his tenure, Andrew has been a driving force in establishing the coalition, solidifying its mission and reputation on Capitol Hill, and advocating for sensible cannabis policy reform.


About the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation 

A 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) works to advance comprehensive policy solutions for cannabis regulation. The Coalition strives to be a trusted, science-driven resource for lawmakers and the larger stakeholder community, developing responsible policies that protect consumers and patients, prevent underage use, uphold public health and safety, and promote social equity. Comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, the Coalition brings unique perspectives to the table to thoughtfully address what a federally regulated cannabis industry should look like. To learn more, visit www.CPEAR.org and follow us on Twitter.