Growing a Consensus on Marijuana Policy

Thursday, Dec. 14

Growing a Consensus on Marijuana Policy

More than half of states have now legalized marijuana use—recreational or medicinal. That’s a massive shift in policy from just a decade ago. With this shift comes a slew of legislative, regulatory and fiscal questions for state policymakers to tackle. This day-long policy forum will provide an overview of the current legal landscape and best practices for taxation, regulation and licensing. The forum will discuss emerging trends and provide attendees direct exposure to Nevada’s marijuana legalization experience.


Overview of the current legislative and regulatory landscape

The fiscal impact of legalization/decriminalization

Financial and banking regulation

Environmental impacts and mitigation

Spotlight on Nevada

Federal-State Conflict


Speaker Biographies

Barbara Brohl

Former Executive Director, Colorado Department of Revenue

Brohl was responsible for the collection of state tax, the Colorado Lottery and the Division of Motor Vehicles, as well as regulatory oversight of gaming, horse racing, automotive dealers, liquor and tobacco, and medical and adult-use marijuana. Between 2011 and 2017, Brohl was intimately involved in the implementation of Amendment 64, a voter-approved amendment which directed the Colorado Department of Revenue to promulgate rules governing businesses that cultivate and sell retail marijuana. She is regularly sought out for her expertise on varied topics including marijuana regulation, regulatory enforcement, public administration and public policy.


Lynn Ciani

EVP General Counsel, Numerica Credit Union

Ciani has over 30 years of experience as a lawyer representing the financial industry. She was a partner in the corporate/securities department of the law firm of McKenna & Fitting before moving to Washington over 20 years ago to raise her family in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and graduated cum laude from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Washington, Idaho and California bars.


Andrew Freedman

Co-Founder and Senior Director, Freedman & Koski

Colloquially known as Colorado’s Marijuana Czar, Freedman was appointed the state’s first director of marijuana coordination by the governor. He ensured the efficient and effective regulation of Colorado’s recreational and medical marijuana while promoting public health, maintaining public safety and keeping marijuana out of the hands of children. He managed hundreds of millions of dollars of marijuana tax revenue and guided the administration through difficult regulatory, legal and personnel issues as Colorado became the first state in the world to regulate recreational marijuana. He led the administration through difficult challenges: unique regulatory structures, the gray and black market, lack of banking, pesticide regulation, tax work, public education campaigns, edibles regulation, hemp regulation, and countless other topics.

John Hudak

Deputy Director, Center for Effective Public Management, The Brookings Institution

Hudak’s research examines questions of presidential power in the contexts of administration, personnel and public policy. Additionally, he focuses on campaigns and elections, legislative-executive interaction, and state and federal marijuana policy. His 2016 book, Marijuana: A Short History, offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. In it, he describes why attitudes and policy have changed, and what those changes mean for marijuana's future place in society.


Maine state Sen. Roger Katz

Katz serves the citizens of Augusta, China, Oakland, Sidney and Vassalboro in the Maine Senate. He came to the Senate in 2010 following two terms as the mayor of Augusta. In the Legislature, Katz serves on the Appropriations Committee, as chair of the Government Oversight Committee, and as chair of the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee. A veteran attorney, Katz is a senior partner in the Augusta firm of Lipman & Katz, is a former president of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association and has been named one of the "Outstanding Lawyers in America."  


Kevin McKechnie

Executive Director, HSA Council at American Bankers Association
McKechnie joined the American Bankers Association in 2000 after serving as the government relations representative for the Affinity Services Division of Marsh & McLennan and also as director of government relations for International Financial Services, a wealth management and insurance consulting firm. He served as legislative director to former Congressman William Dannemeyer of California.


Evan Mills

Energy Associates

Mills is a California-based energy and climate change scientist, research affiliate with U.C. Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, and member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its work. He has published 300 technical articles and reports and has contributed to 11 books. He is author of the definitive and widely cited analysis of energy use and carbon footprint associated with indoor marijuana production, published in 2012 in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy. Mills is a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but the work described in this presentation was not performed under those auspices. 


Karen O’Keefe

Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project

O’Keefe manages grassroots and direct lobbying efforts in state legislatures for the nation’s largest nonprofit that is focused solely on marijuana policy reform. Working closely with local advocates and lawmakers, her team has led the successful advocacy campaigns to enact seven medical marijuana laws and six decriminalization measures through state legislatures. O’Keefe’s department is spearheading coalitions that are advocating to regulate marijuana like alcohol in six state legislatures. Her team has also worked on implementation of adult-use marijuana laws. O’Keefe is admitted to the Bar in the District of Columbia.


Brohl_Freedman - CSG - 12-2017 Final.pdf2.87 MB
Ciani.pdf86.37 KB
correia.pdf1.51 MB
Evan Mills.pdf6.67 MB
McKechnie.pdf2.22 MB
Okeefe.pdf730.99 KB
CSG Pres.pdf1.22 MB