New Jersey (September 30, 2020) – The Cannabis Advisory Group (CAG) is a new, non-profit
organization that is focused on bridging the knowledge gap between government and business in
regulated cannabis markets. The group’s goal is to provide education and guidance on legislative
and regulatory best practices for implementing and fostering successful adult-use and medicinal
cannabis markets in expanding states—particularly at the local level. CAG will initially direct
efforts toward stakeholders in New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic region.
CAG grew out of conversations between Jackie Cornell and Jacqueline Ferraro about the need for
improved education and communication about cannabis regulation between government agencies
and the private sector. Jacqueline Ferraro recently served as an advisor to the New
Jersey Cannabis Industry Association during a time of significant growth in the New
Jersey medicinal cannabis market. Jackie Cornell, with nearly two decades of government, healthcare
and advocacy experience, founded CAG in part to unite former regulators in one of the
most complex and nuanced regulated industries in the country.
“Over the last several months, we have seen incredible growth and potential for
cannabis expansion around the country. The Cannabis Advisory Group was born out of conversations
that this is not merely an industry – it is a movement. I’m excited to collaborate with a growing
team of thought leaders to craft gold standards that engage and inspire expanding states,” Cornell
Together, they have convened some of the most innovative thinkers and doers throughout
the industry to leverage experience and expertise across business operations, government
and regulatory affairs, social justice, market economics, law, scientific research and medicine.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with a remarkable group of national
cannabis professionals, and help the organization promote education, awareness and good public
policy, throughout New Jersey and other growing states,” Ferraro says.
CAG’s first initiative will be a survey of mayors in urban, rural and suburban
communities across New Jersey to gather data and questions on local implementation of
cannabis. The findings will help CAG prioritize creation of resources and inform surveys
to deploy in additional states.
“Education and engagement at the local level is a critical piece of a robust cannabis market – in
New Jersey and in any state. I’m pleased that the Cannabis Advisory Group is partnering with the NJ
League of Municipalities to bridge this existing gap and support local officials with the tools we
need to make the best decision for our communities,” shared Janice Kovach, Mayor of
Clinton, New Jersey and incoming President of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
With cannabis issues on the ballot across multiple states this November, CAG will
serve as a valuable resource to lawmakers and stakeholders. It fills an important void in the
cannabis realm, where organizations typically fall into the categories of activist group or trade
association. CAG, conversely, is concerned with the nuts and bolts of helping states organize and
evolve legalized cannabis.
Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, and mid-Atlantic is poised
to be one of the largest and most important regulated cannabis regions in the nation. As this area
continues to mature, the demand for additional resources will increase exponentially, and CAG seeks
to positively influence outcomes across the region.
The Cannabis Advisory Group (CAG) focuses on sourcing best-practice guidance
from established cannabis-friendly states, cannabis industry operators, advocates and thought
leaders to inform public sector stakeholders involved in legislation, rule-making,
regulation and municipal decision making. CAG educates and advocates for the “why” of medical
and adult-use cannabis and provides actionable perspectives on the “how” of the development of
legal access to cannabis at the state and local levels.
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