the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, 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 says.
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.