November 4, 2021


Lezli Engelking, Founder, FOCUS;
Erin Kennedy, Vice President and Certification Director, FOCUS;
Steven Mandernach, Executive Director, Association of Food and Drug Officials 


Landscape: There is an urgent, ongoing, and rapidly growing need for the formal federal legalization and regulation of cannabis in the United States. With the rest of the world already moving toward these frameworks, there is potential for massive supply and demand effects that will greatly influence American stakeholders for decades. Legalization in the US is a complicated matter and must be handled in such a way as to empower stakeholders and protect public health and consumer safety while taking into consideration the extensive cannabis industry that already exists within disparate state cannabis programs

Problem: The recently introduced Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA) was broadly written to encourage input from a wide swath of industry stakeholders. To that end, thousands of comments were submitted in response to the bill, but with the deadline for comment past, the process and inputs are now in the hands of teams working for legislators. 

Solution: For the betterment of all stakeholders, open communications regarding the CAOA proposal and the rest of the holistic issues surrounding the harmonization of federal and state cannabis regulation should be an ongoing process. In the absence of other leadership, FOCUS and AFDO seek to bridge this gap by inviting stakeholders to engage via a series of webinars and content summaries intended to open and organization communication regarding the harmonization of cannabis rules and regulations.

AFDO and FOCUS are pleased to share the initial survey, designed as a starting point for soliciting feedback and understanding the priorities of different stakeholder groups. Survey responses will be collected through November 21st, 2021. Participation is greatly encouraged, as the collected comments and feedback will set the agenda for follow-up webinars, as well as the formal activities for developing the federal roadmap. Survey results will be analyzed and discussed on the second webinar

Take survey


  • Lezli Engelking, Founder, FOCUS 
  • Erin Kennedy, Vice President and Certification Director, FOCUS
  • Steven Mandernach, Executive Director, Association of Food and Drug Officials