There are now some big hitters sitting on the board at the National Cannabis Round Table

We’ve just received the following press release in this morning

Obama HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be Honorary Co-Chair Joins Former House Speaker John Boehner to the growing marijuana group

The National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) announced today that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been named Honorary Co-Chair, joining former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to lead the growing industry group.

 

 

NCR Chairman Charlie Bachtell of Cresco Labs spoke for the board today:

 

Charles Bachtell, Chairman

“Secretary Sebelius brings Cabinet-level experience to the Roundtable. Her background, as a former Governor, and as the HHS secretary, offers us a unique set of tools to impact change and promote sensible federal cannabis reform.”

 

Sebelius said,

Kathleen Sebelius, Honorary Co-Chair

“The path forward for cannabis reform in Washington will require a holistic approach. We have to recognize and respond to multiple imperatives: there is an economic side to cannabis, but also a human side. Whether it’s the jobs and revenue potential, the criminal and social justice reform, or the health implications, we need to embrace the human side and keep in mind how policyaffects real people.
“It’s also crucial that, at the federal level, we work closely with the states, who are leading the way in reform. Working with the states and the governors will be a big part of achieving the proper state and federal regulatory balance.
“I’m excited to work with the Roundtable and Speaker Boehner to help shape the important debates to come. Together, I am confident we can make significant progress in the 117th Congress and beyond.”

 

Boehner said,

“Secretary Sebelius will be a great partner in advancing our cause. She understands policy and knows what it takes to make law. We look forward to working together as a team.”

 

John Boehner, Honorary Co-Chair

NCR is also announcing that Zelira Therapeutics USA has joined its membership. Zelira is a global medicinal cannabis company, with a portfolio of products aimed at treating a range of medical conditions and which includes proprietary treatments for autism. Zelira will be represented on the NCR board by their CEO Dr. Oludare Odumosu, MPH Ph.D. who is one of the pioneering operators in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.

Prospects for cannabis reform have steadily risen in Congress where in the last session two major bills passed with bipartisan support. Senate leaders have identified cannabis reform as a high priority and regulators in the new Administration have sent early positive signals.

“We’ve got a ton of work to do, but with the leadership of Secretary Sebelius, and the addition of Zelira Therapeutics to our membership, we’ve got a very strong team ready to be actively involved in the debate on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Saphira Galoob, NCR’s Executive Director.

 

 

As background, from April 2009 through June 2014, Sebelius served in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act. At HHS, Sebelius managed 11 operating agencies, 90,000 employees in 50 countries around the world, and a $1 trillion budget. Forbes named Sebelius one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

Having served as Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, Sebelius is the only daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history; her late father, John Gilligan, was Governor of Ohio. Sebelius earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a retired federal magistrate judge. They have two married sons, Ned and John, and four grandchildren.

Dr. Oludare Odumosu of Zelira Therapeutics has spent his career in pharmaceutical business development, strategy and operational leadership. A World Bank Institute Certified public health professional, he holds both a Ph.D and masters degree from Loma Linda University and a bachelor of science from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zelira Therapeutics’ US headquarters is in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.