The world of marijuana politics and policy is very complex, and is changing constantly. I am always reminded of this when I log into Facebook and I get one of those 'see your memories from this day' notifications. I will see something that I posted in 2010, 2012, 2014, etc., and it's always crazy to see where things have evolved (or haven't evolved). Things that seemed so far off once upon a time are reality now, and things that were completely unanticipated have popped up along the way.
You never know what to expect. That's one of the things that I love so much about the marijuana world, that I literally have no idea what to expect from week to week. That can also be frightening in a way to some people I'm sure, especially to people that are involved on the industry side of things. People always ask me what's the best way to stay on top of things, or at least as much as reasonably possible. One thing that I always say is to seek out the advice of experts. True experts.
One of the people at the top of my list that I look to for their opinion on marijuana policy is John Hudak, a Fellow at the Brookings Institution. I follow John on Twitter, and you will be hard pressed to find someone that knows more about marijuana policy in America than him. I'm always glued to his Twitter feed to see what he has to say. From what I can tell John comes from a policy background, and not a marijuana background (at least I don't think he consumes, but never met him before!), so his perspective is particularly interesting to me since he's 'outside of the fishbowl.'
John Hudak will be speaking at the upcoming Cannabis Business Summit, which is taking place in Oakland June 20-22. I have referred to it as the most important marijuana industry conference of the year and I truly believe that. The event is being put on by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), which of course is the leading national industry advocacy organization in America. We are at a crucial crossroads in both the marijuana industry and in marijuana activism, and so this event is going to be timely. I don't know if I'll be able to make it due to work, but believe I'm going to do everything I can to get there.
Below is a video that the Brookings Institute put out late last year featuring John Hudak. It's a video that I have pointed to countless times since it was published, and I think it's very well done and very informative. John Hudak speaking at the Cannabis Business Summit is going to be fantastic. You can get tickets at this link here.
About John Hudak:
John Hudak is a Fellow in Governance Studies and Managing Editor of FixGov Blog at the Brookings Institution. He researches and writes extensively on presidential power, legislative-executive relations, implementation, and marijuana policy.
His work on marijuana policy examines state-level implementation of both medical and recreational cannabis, as well as state-federal relations. He also examines questions of the interaction of politics and marijuana policy at both state and federal levels. His work has been featured in major outlets including Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, New York Times, Newsweek, CBS News, Christian Science Monitor, and WebMD, among others. In summer 2014 he penned a widely cited report on recreational marijuana implementation entitled, "Colorado's Rollout of Legal Marijuana is Succeeding."
John is the author of the recent book Presidential Pork: White House Influence over the Distribution of Federal Grants (2014). He holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Vanderbilt University.