Cannabis Trade Federation Founder to Step Down as CEO

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WASHINGTON — PRESS RELEASE — The Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF), a national coalition of cannabis-related businesses, has announced that Neal Levine has decided to step down as CEO of the Federation.

“When I initially accepted this position in June of 2018, I agreed to do the job for two years with a decision in January 2020 as to whether or not I wished to continue in the role,” said Levine. “While I have enjoyed setting up the organization, it was never my intent to run it long-term. With the election heating up and legislative movement in Washington D.C. starting to slow down for the year, now is the perfect time to make a transition.”

CTF will immediately begin a search for a new CEO, with Neal remaining in the role until a new CEO is hired. CTF is also announcing that Neal has accepted a promotion to The Board of Directors pending ratification by the Board, and has agreed to remain with the organization as Senior Strategic Advisor.

“Neal is our founder and visionary, and we are delighted that he agreed to be elevated to the Board and remain with CTF as Senior Strategic Advisor. He has always been very transparent about this being a two-year commitment, and we are grateful for the time he has invested in the organization,” said Ed Conklin, chair of the CTF Board of Directors. “We cannot adequately praise Neal enough for his expert stewardship, industry-building, and thought leadership across the aisle with CTF as he enters his next chapter.”

“I am grateful to the Board for their support and willingness to allow me to pursue other projects that I have sidelined to focus on this role, while still allowing me to help build and guide the organization,” said Levine. “While I no longer wish to focus on CTF full time, I remain fully supportive of CTF as an organization and its mission. I am excited to see where the organization can go with fresh leadership.”

The CTF Board of Directors, comprised of the nation’s largest and most diverse multi-state operators, suppliers and key cannabis companies, will focus the organization’s effort on its three critical priorities: the passage of legislation to fix the conflict between state and federal laws concerning cannabis with proposals like the MORE Act, STATES Act and SAFE Banking Act; completing the work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force; and the continued expansion of the Federation as the premier cannabis industry trade association.

“Marching into the 2020 elections, bi-partisan support for cannabis has never been stronger, public support has never polled higher, and the trajectory for increased access to cannabis is now mandated by 33 states that have passed legalization of one form or another,” said Andrew Smith, current vice-chair and incoming chair of the CTF Board. “Neal brought us all together, and we feel that we are well positioned for enormous success in the near future. This is an exciting new chapter for CTF, and we look forward to what comes next."

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