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WM Policy in the News



The 2022 Albany 40 Under 40 

Marijuana legalization has picked up speed – and New York is no exception, having legalized the use and sale of recreational weed. Being a part of these early conversations shaping cannabis regulations and policies in the state excites Alex Spyropoulos. “There aren’t too many opportunities to be able to help influence or start a new industry,” he says. 

Author: Kay Dervishi, Natasha Ishak, Jasmine Sheena

Publication: City & State NY




Flaw In NJ Marijuana Law Is Jacking Up Prices, Expert Says

According to Lizzie Kirshenbaum, an associate director (East Coast) of public affairs at Weedmaps, consumers in New Jersey shouldn’t expect prices to drop any time soon. “Adult use cannabis sales just started in late April with existing medical operators,” Kirshenbaum told Patch. “That isn’t a very long time or a lot of points for retail sales. The market hasn’t really established itself yet.” 

Author: Eric Kiefer

Publication: Patch



PoliticsNY Cannabis Industry Power Players

Lizzie Kirshenbaum is the associate director of East Coast government relations for Weedmaps, the technology company powering the legal cannabis industry. She drives state and local legalization efforts, develops sensible cannabis policy initiatives, and fosters progressive social equity programs throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the New England states.

Author: Anna Donch and Jill Carvajal

Publication: PoliticsNY



Hundreds of New York Towns Opt Out of Pot

Spinzia’s position is not a unique one, according to Lizzie Kirshenbaum, the associate director of east coast government relations with the marijuana tech company Weedmaps. She had traveled to various parts of the state prior to the deadline to perform educational and advocacy outreach against opting out of sales and told City & State that she experienced a fair amount of hesitancy from local leaders and encountered many who wanted to wait before acting. “I think that’s actually not a great idea because there’s a real advantage to being a first mover,” Kirshenbaum said.

Author: Rebecca C Lewis

Publication: City & State NY



Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Partners With Marijuana Industry On Internship Program For Future Cannabis Leaders

“The U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) is sponsoring the spring 2022 program, which will place nine interns at one of eight marijuana firms like Canopy, Columbia Care, Curaleaf, the Marijuana Policy Project and Weedmaps….

Cedric Haynes, who serves associate vice president for government relations at Weedmaps and went through the CBCF Emerging Leaders internship program in 2009, said he is ‘a testament to the impact of these programs and the many opportunities that such an internship affords.'”

Author: Kyle Jaeger

Publication: Marijuana Moment



Weedmaps Releases First Data & Insights Report: Cannabis in America

While the tangible impact of cannabis legalization varies from state to state, many cannabis non-consumers are not sure they have seen nor understand how cannabis legalization impacts them and their communities. Though when asked about the general effect of cannabis legalization in the US, many cannabis non-consumers cited the positive impact of legalization.

Publication: BusinessWire



WM Technology Is Leveraging Weedmaps Success with B2B Software Solutions

WM Technology has a presence across markets that have legalized cannabis in the U.S. and internationally in countries like Canada, Spain, the Netherlands and Uruguay. The company’s government relations and policy team, led by the VP of Government Relations Bridget Hennessey, works on opening up new markets with a focus on not only legalization but social equity as well.

Author: Carrie Pallardy

Publication: New Cannabis Ventures



Weedmaps: How Data and Determination Are Driving the Future of Cannabis

“The work that we do on this team,” Hennessey shared, “is focused both on opening new markets, while also making sure that current markets are reflective of the community. We want to ensure that people who were negatively impacted by the war on drugs have a stake in these markets, so we spend a lot of our time advocating for social equity programs to be included in new legislation and ballot initiatives. Then we continue that work by making sure that we’re helping to educate people as an industry or market is coming to fruition and being implemented.”.

Author: Zack Ruskin

Publication: Leaf Nation



America is changing. Cannabis tells the story

“Nowhere is cannabis’ promise greater — or the change it could forge as impactful — than in social equity, criminal justice, job creation and economic development.”

Author: Bridget Hennessey

Publication: The Hill



Pot smokers no longer want to share joints BUT they want joints to share

Shaun Chapman, Director of Government Relations at Weedmaps, speaks with CKNW Weekend Mornings’ host Stirling Faux about Candain cannabis consumption and how attitudes have shifted since the pandemic.

Author: Eli London

Publication: 980 CKNW Weekend Mornings Radio



BRAUN: Canadians warming to legal pot shops, says poll

“Weedmaps spokesperson Bridget Hennessey explained that familiarity with retail cannabis stores seems to engender support — those with a pot shop in their neighbourhood are now almost twice as likely to express support for the stores over those who don’t have one nearby.

“We are not seeing the backlash and negativity once expected when new retail stores open in neighbourhoods,” said Hennessey, who also noted she hears positive reports from consumers who visit the retail pot stores.”

Author: Liz Braun

Publication: Toronto Sun



12 Predictions for the Future of Consumer Cannabis

“Local is an important word in the cannabis lexicon. Supporting the people who started this industry — many of whom went to jail for doing so — along with the communities and neighborhoods decimated by the failed war on drugs is more than a trend. It’s the foundation of the entire industry. ‘ – Bridget Hennessey, VP Government Relations, Weedmaps”

Author: Eli London

Publication: Inside Hook



Is the Cannabis Industry as Inclusive as it Claims to Be?

“Bridget Hennessey, the Vice President of Government Relations at Weedmaps, jumped into the marijuana business to guide equitable and inclusive legislation for decriminalized cannabis; and to make sure female voices have a seat at the table. She joined Cheddar to discuss.”

Author: N/A




Annus Horribilis? 2020 was a bad year. Except for Cannabis.

“But one industry marshalled through 365 days and came out ahead: cannabis. Joe Biden may have won the 2020 presidential election, but cannabis won the year.”

Author: Bridget Hennessey

Publication: Medium



Ballot measures for local access to
legal cannabis rack up wins in California

“Californians will stop at nothing for safer, more reliable and convenient access to legal cannabis. There were more than 35 pro-cannabis ballot measures up for consideration throughout the Golden State on Election Day. Thirty-one of them were victorious.”

Author: Bridget Hennessey

Publication: CalMatters



Cannabis Reform Wins Big On
Election Day, Bodes Well For Weed Industry

“Hennessey said that the results show that the federal government has to embrace the growing sector as a job creator and force for change in society.

If we want this industry to grow, prosper and become a part of mainstream American commerce, we have got to remove the often insurmountable roadblocks the industry currently faces,” Hennessey says, calling for banking and credit opportunities.”

Author: Andrew Ward

Publication: Benzinga



Cannabis On The 2020 Ballot Could Affect Neighboring States

“Cannabis on the ballot is getting people “engaged, energized and involved,” said Bridget Hennessy, Vice President of Government Relations at industry analyst Weedmaps. “Cannabis voters are out in force.”

Author: Julie Weed

Publication: Forbes



As states face budget shortfalls,
cannabis and sports betting could flourish

“Likewise, the cannabis industry provides ‘an economic opportunity, and a way to build some stimulus’ for jurisdictions now in need of funding, according to Bridget Hennessey, vice president of government relations at Weedmaps.”

Author: Rey Mashayekhi

Publication: Fortune



How the U.S. Elections Will Shape
The Cannabis Industry With Cedric Haynes

“As a former Subcommittee Director in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Law School graduate of Mississippi College, Cedric Haynes discusses the importance of black people being involved in legislation on every level, as well as the impact the 2020 elections will have on the Cannabis Industry.”

Author: N/A

Publication: Black Enterprise



How marijuana legalization advocates across
the U.S. are fighting to end the war on cannabis.

“Alex Todd, Saucey Farms & Extracts co-founder; Jim Jones, hip-hop artist and Saucey Farms & Extracts co-founder; Jessica Jackson, chief advocacy officer of the Reform Alliance; and Cedric Haynes, director of public policy and partnerships for Weedmaps sat down with Yahoo Life to discuss how to reform the cannabis industry.”

Author: Tatiana Pile

Publication: Yahoo Life



Weedmaps Takes on California’s Complex
Legal Cannabis Market in Docuseries ‘Uprooted’

“Last year, advocates rightly criticized the City’s social equity application process. It was complicated, confusing and unfair. Issues like burdensome and expensive property requirements, as well as a thorny submission process left people feeling cheated and dismissed…To their credit, LA’s Department of Cannabis Regulation listened. And they became more aware of how their processes and procedures have the potential to inflict more harm on the communities that they are charged to help…So this time, they are moving forward by incorporating changes from the lessons learned and suggestions from their stakeholders. They are being more thoughtful, intentional and pragmatic… When it comes to people’s lives and livelihoods, a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work.” – Cedric Haynes

Author: Aubrey Bracco

Publication: The Bluntness



Cannabis + Legalization: A Dispatch from the Frontline

“Cannabis’ + ‘legalization’ shouldn’t make New Jersians nervous. The combination of those words should and will, however, make us safer, healthier, and more comfortable. Cannabis legalization will contribute to our prosperity, security, and mobility; will enhance opportunity, and play a role in ensuring fairness for all New Jersians, and it will most certainly afford unlimited options and possibilities for those of us in the noble pursuit of happiness.”

Author: Alex Lleras

Publication: Medium



Good job!

“Cannabis workers and the cannabis industry certainly benefit from unionization in so many important ways. And the labor movement benefits as it embraces this emerging industry. As the negotiating term goes, it’s ‘win-win.'”

Author: Carl Fillichio

Publication: Medium



A New Budget Solution That’s Been Around for A While

“Expanding cannabis retail is money on the table for many local leaders throughout California. And it’s money that their constituents (as well as state officials, civil rights and labor leaders, health advocates and others) want them to take. It’s not the answer for everything, but done smartly, with a balanced approach that considers social equity, public safety, consumer demand, and patient needs, cannabis retail can have an impact.”

Author: Brian Allison

Publication: Medium


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