WASHINGTON — Several convenience-store partners and suppliers are now members of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation, a new non-profit made to advance policy solutions to guide cannabis legalization and regulation at the federal level.
The coalition’s business and association members include Altria Client Services, Constellation Brands Inc., the Convenience Distribution Association, Molson Coors Beverage Co. and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). It is also comprised of subject matter experts who can address issues like patient access, criminal justice reform, access to capital and more.
Group participation does not serve as an endorsement from any organization, the coalition said. The group aims to advance dialogue that can reshape responsible regulatory framework to inform federal cannabis legislation.
“While NACS does not have a position on whether recreational cannabis should be legalized at a federal level, our industry supports a comprehensive and responsible regulatory framework for federal cannabis legalization should it happen,” said Jon Taets, director of government relations at Alexandria, Va.-based NACS. “The convenience industry is often at the forefront of bringing new products to consumers, and our goal is to ensure that if a legal market emerges convenience retailers can compete on a level playing field if they choose to.”
The conversation is no longer about whether to legalize cannabis—states and their constituents have already answered that, Andrew Freedman, executive director of the coalition, said. It’s about how to craft federal framework for a legalized cannabis marketplace, he said.
“Coalition members will explore and develop informed and data-driven solutions about what a legalization framework could look like to best achieve advocates’ aspirations while considering the needs of public health, protecting public safety and keeping cannabis out of the hands of children,” Freedman said.
C-store partners have already shown an interest in the cannabis market. Molson Coors Beverage Co., for example, worked with Gatineau, Quebec-based Hexo Corp. to release a line of cannabis-infused beverage in September across Canada. Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group also has a minority stake in marijuana producer Cronos Group Inc.
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