July 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, July 18, 2019 — 4Front Holdings, LLC (“4Front”) this morning delivered a letter to Congress signed by more than 100 of its cannabis-industry peers in support of significant federal cannabis policy reform.
The letter, which can be read at www.DescheduleMarijuana.com, describes 4Front’s position that the federal government should end the criminalization of cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, and that federal cannabis policy reform is incomplete if it does not include the funding and programming necessary to create a more inclusive industry, and help to meaningfully address the harm done to communities that were disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.
The letter was delivered at 11 a.m. ET this morning to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, with copies also being sent to House and Senate Leadership and the chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.
“Our founding mission when we created 4Front in 2011 was to defeat prohibition through sensible regulation. It seemed daunting at the time, but now here we are discussing the right way to legalize cannabis rather than whether it should be legalized in the first place,” said Kris Krane, 4Front’s co-founder and president. “We’re proud to stand with so many of our esteemed peer organizations that have tirelessly advocated for these same ideals and helped advance the dialogue to a point where we can now have these critical conversations—years before many of us thought it could happen, and decades after many of us thought it was necessary.”
Mike Liszewski, 4Front’s in-house Senior Regulatory Affairs Counsel, wrote the letter and worked with the National Cannabis Industry Association and Minority Cannabis Business Association to secure industry support. Liszewski, who previously worked for Americans for Safe Access as a policy analyst and lobbyist, was instrumental in the 2014 lobbying efforts to pass what was then known as the Rohrabacher-Farr medical marijuana amendment as a rider to the Department of Justice appropriations bill. He joined 4Front full-time in June 2019.
“Every day something isn’t done to reform this country’s misguided drug laws, people’s lives are being negatively affected, whether from lacking safe and legal access to medicine or becoming burdened with a criminal record for possessing cannabis,” Liszewski said. “One of the reasons I joined 4Front is because of its activist roots and its commitment to the social and economic justice components of cannabis reform. The industry is at a point now where we must use our size to demand policy change that decriminalizes our businesses and ensures communities and individuals who were harmed most by prohibition gain access to these new economic opportunities. I am thrilled to be advancing this platform on behalf of a company that shares these values and is a leader in the marketplace as well.”
This is not an official coalition, but these 103 businesses, trade associations, and policy organizations share a recognition that:
- the federal government should bear some responsibility to help repair the harm created by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition in low-income communities and communities of color, and
- the industry is not reflective of the overall population and the federal government should allocate funding for programs to help create a more inclusive industry.
The creation of the letter and delivery to Congressional offices follows the hearing held last week—titled “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform”—by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
“I commend Kris and Mike for their dedication, commitment to our roots and the authenticity with which they represent our company and this emerging industry as a whole,” said Josh Rosen, 4Front’s CEO. “Policy reform has always been at the center of our business; necessarily so. As advocates and pioneers who have helped set the tone for what this industry becomes, we’re building a responsible, values-based and people-focused company that informs regulation through practice, ensures access to cannabis through service, and provides value through job creation and community engagement. As we grow, we will always look for ways to use our platform to replace prohibition with opportunity.”
About 4Front Holdings
4Front is building a next-generation company in the cannabis industry, based upon strategic and aligned leadership, battle-tested operating capabilities, transparent and principled governance, and a commitment to developing and supporting people and communities. Led by a group of professionals with experience in strategy, manufacturing, distribution & logistics, finance, real estate, multi-location retail & hospitality operations and talent development & retention, 4Front has invested heavily to assemble a comprehensive collection of management skills and hands-on operating expertise that can support the rapid operational growth opportunity being afforded by the increased legalization of cannabis across the globe. For more information, visit the website.
Anne Donohoe/Nick Opich
KCSA Strategic Communications
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