Cannabis Regulators Association Welcomes New President, State Members

The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) recently celebrated its one-year anniversary while voting in Andrew Brisbo as the organization’s new president.

Brisbo is the Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency and served as Vice President of CANNRA last year. He succeeds CANNRA’s Founding President Norman Birenbaum, and is joined on the board by:

  • Vice-President Rick Garza, Executive Director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
  • Vice-President Michele Nakata, Supervisor of the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Licensing Program at the Hawaii Department of Health
  • Treasurer Tyler Klimas, Executive Director of the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board,
  • At-large board member Steve Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Board
  • At-large board member Chris Tholkes, Director of the Office of Medical Cannabis at the Minnesota Department of Health
  • At-large board member Andrew Turnage, Executive Director at the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.
  • Immediate Past President Norman Birenbaum, Director of Cannabis Programs at the New York State Executive Chamber

“Andrew has been a leading voice in the cannabis regulator community for years,” says past President Norman Birenbaum. “Andrew was integral in shaping CANNRA’s programing, priorities and in building consensus among our members during the organization’s first year. There is no better person to lead the organization and continue its work moving forward.”
Says Brisbo, “I am honored to serve with so many dedicated public servants while continuing the CANNRA mission of supporting states in implementing and improving regulatory programs. As we collectively analyze and respond to emerging issues in the cannabis industry, we will continue to be the preeminent voice in cannabis regulatory policy.” 


In the past year, CANNRA has launched more than a dozen different special committees for state cannabis regulatory staff to share knowledge and work towards regulatory best practices on a range of topics:

  • Licensing, Compliance, and Enforcement
  • Social and Economic Equity
  • Medical Use and Research
  • Public Health and Data Monitoring
  • Lab Testing and Product Safety
  • Public Education
  • Packaging, Labeling, and Advertising
  • Banking, Finance, and Taxation
  • Cannabinoid Hemp
  • Impaired Driving and Traffic Safety
  • Environment and Energy
  • Federal Engagement
  • Interstate Coordination

These special committees are engaged in facilitating cross-state discussion on relevant regulatory topics, tracking regulatory and policy differences across states, and — where appropriate — drafting guidance on specific issues. Their work informed several letters to Congress regarding national cannabis policy priorities and comments on proposed federal legislation to legalize cannabis federally.

CANNRA also welcomed in new states as association members.

Current CANNRA members include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.4


Feature photo by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash.


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