Jessica Billingsley, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Akerna, was announced as the Chair of the newly formed US Cannabis Council, a coalition of organizations, businesses, and individuals seeking to end federal prohibition of cannabis and create an equitable, values-driven cannabis industry in the United States.
The USCC aims to raise ethical standards within the industry, achieve restorative justice for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by misguided state and federal cannabis policies, and create a healthy, inclusive, and well-regulated cannabis industry with social, financial, and environmental benefits shared by all.
The USCC credited Billingsley’s leadership experience in the cannabis industry for her unanimous appointment. Billingsley was the first cannabis technology CEO to list on the Nasdaq, invented seed-to-sale tracking for the industry, won exclusive contracts for Washington, Pennsylvania, and Utah’s cannabis regulatory track-and-trace programs, and has engaged with members of Congress on cannabis reform for nearly a decade.
“Billingsley is a proven leader who will elevate our voice for cannabis reform and an equitable, values-driven cannabis industry,” said Steven Hawkins, USCC CEO. “Her extensive background working in the cannabis industry and with the government will greatly assist USCC in reforming cannabis policy and advancing an equitable, well-regulated cannabis industry in all fifty states.
“I am honored by this appointment and look forward to continuing my work with the USCC’s diverse collection of cannabis leaders striving to push forward critical and meaningful policy change in US cannabis,” said Jessica Billingsley, Akerna CEO and new Chair of the USCC Board. “A crucial part of the legalization process is to address the harms incurred by the mostly Black and brown populations who have served criminal convictions and prison sentences due to nonviolent marijuana offenses. We must, and we will fight for change.”
USCC’s founding members represent the broadest group of organizations and people in the cannabis industry seeking to end federal prohibition. The group includes Acreage Holdings, Akerna Corp., American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp, Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine, BellRock Brands, Buckeye Relief, Cannabis Trade Federation, Canopy Growth Corporation, Central Coast Agriculture (CCA), Columbia Care Inc., Cresco Labs Inc., Cronos Group, Culta, Curaleaf, DNA Genetics, Eaze, Flowhub, Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, Good Chemistry, The Grove Cannabis Dispensary, Headcount’s Cannabis Voter Project, Husch Blackwell, iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc., Jushi, Keef Brands, Lightshade, LivWell Enlightened Health, Marijuana Policy Project, Medicine Man, MedMen, Native Roots Cannabis Co, 1906 New Highs, PAX Labs, PharmaCann, ProKure, Schwazze, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Urbn Leaf, Veterans Cannabis Project, Vicente Sederberg LLP, Vireo Health, and Wana.