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Bringing Credibility to the Cannabis Industry - David Vaillencourt, CEO joins CFCR as an Advisory Member

May 5, 2022

Recently, I was invited to join the US Council for Federal Cannabis Regulations as an Advisor.  Another industry group? Another advisor position? There is only so much time in the day! But, let me tell you why I not only accepted this position, but was thrilled to do so.

The mission

CFCR’s mission is to assist the government, and specifically-federal regulatory agencies, to rethink, develop, and implement evidence-based cannabis regulations. CFCR acts as a forum in which stakeholders can evaluate and support informed and inclusive regulations to govern the cannabis industry. Impressive cannabis industry experts and thought leaders join forces at CFCR to progress the industry forward, with the overarching goals of de-stigmatization, normalization, and legitimization. 

CFCR’s mission is to influence how cannabis is regulated at the federal level in a meaningful way. CFCR works to encourage agencies to maximize their full potential by prioritizing principles of science, inclusion, social equity, best business practices, public policy and access to information within the cannabis industry. CFCR advocates that regulations support neglected and minority communities negatively impacted by the war on drugs, including the incorporation of inclusive education. CFCR also emphasizes the importance of bridging the information disconnect between regulators and stakeholders as well as partnering with universities and researchers to facilitate informed scientific research of cannabis. I am excited and proud to be a part of such a dependable organization, alongside other powerful leaders.

The leadership

Let me start with Sarah Chase. I was fortunate to have been introduced to her as she was being on-boarded by CFCR’s Founder, Sheri Orlowitz. Sarah previously served as COO for Alan Alda (yes - the MASH guy!)’s Communication Training Company, with one of her hats being as the Executive Producer, writer, and voice-over artists for Alda’s Clear + Vivid podcasts. As a scientist who has always believed in the power of knowledge through the pursuit of never ending learning, I knew that her success in doing that through insightful interviews with notable guests from Tom Hanks, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Madeleine Albright to Judge Judy and more would be a huge asset to bring credibility to the cannabis industry - or as CFCR states - to de-stigmatize, normalize, and legitimize.

(A side note - Sarah Silverman’s interview on the joy of enjoying people you don’t agree with is a lesson that I feel strongly we could all learn from in our current political climate). The more these challenging conversations are facilitated by Ms. Chase and the CFCR, the more the cannabis industry can propel forward.

In just nine short months under Sarah’s leadership, they have brokered meaningful conversations with the FDA. Previous webinars feature provocative discussions that explore the real world evidence on the effectiveness of cannabinoid products, address the missing gaps in cannabis research and literature, and acknowledge the limits of current federal regulations. Some of the key takeaways from the data discussed by Sarah and fellow industry experts emphasize the established effectiveness of CBD, but the need for research and clarity regarding its full potential.

Sarah has facilitated essential conversations surrounding the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the current implications for research and regulatory science with fellow CFCR Advisors as well as FDA Scientists, in an attempt to address the complexities and misunderstandings of the understudied ECS. 

Next, we have CFCR’s Founder, Sheri L. Orlowitz. Sheri is equipped with over 30 years of successful experience in entrepreneurship, venture capitalism, turn-around expertise, board directorship, and corporate leadership, as well as an attorney and former federal prosecutor for the DOJ. She has raised millions of dollars, hired thousands of employees, and owned dozens of companies, some of which have been acquired by Kodak, Tyco International, and Applied Magnetics. Sheri even founded another nonprofit that addresses human trafficking, and has also been on the Harvard University Women’s Leadership Board in addition to her long standing position on the Board of the Marijuna Policy Project. 

The future

CFCR is a unique force, one that I am proud to ascribe my name to. Made up of a powerhouse of the world’s leading industry experts, CFCR is dedicated to making change, and has exciting plans for doing so in the future. From live podcasts and webinars to in-person events, CFCR is sure to keep making waves in the cannabis industry. You don’t want to miss out.

Interested to know what CFCR is up to? Join me at CFCR’s upcoming Cannabis Café, where I will be leading the discussion on May 6, 2022. I will be joined by Sheri as well as Erika Alonso, CMO & Co-Founder of Kazu by Witi. For this and more be sure to check out CFCR’s Webinar series on Youtube to be a part of the upcoming conversations.

For additional information, be sure to visit www.uscfcr.org and follow us on social media @USCFCR.

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