Lindsay Robinson is the Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, the most influential statewide trade association representing the cannabis industry. CCIA was instrumental in passing the Governor’s trailer bill and SB 94, which reconciled the state medical marijuana and adult-use frameworks.
Prior to CCIA, Lindsay was the Director of Development for the Marijuana Policy Project. Lindsay oversaw MPP’s national fundraising and membership strategies. MPP was responsible for passing adult use ballot initiatives in Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine in 2016, while playing a supporting role in California with Prop 64. Lindsay’s team at MPP helped raise over $18 million for these campaigns in the 2016 election cycle.
She was one of the primary fundraisers for both Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado, and Ballot Measure 2, a similar initiative that made marijuana legal in Alaska in 2014. Lindsay was elected to the board of the California Cannabis Industry Association in January 2016 and served as the chairwoman of the Legislative Committee that same year.
Lindsay has been working to end marijuana prohibition for two decades, in both volunteer and professional capacities. Her passion for social justice has also lead to more than 18 years in the nonprofit industry, fundraising for organizations like the SF-Marin Food Bank, the Center for Justice and Accountability, and La Raza Centro Legal. Lindsay received her undergraduate degree in environmental studies at the University of Vermont and has her master’s in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco.
When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important?
We have a unique opportunity to build an industry that we’re proud of, which reflects the diversity of our country and the diversity of cannabis consumers. Why wouldn’t we want to have gender parity?
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the U.S. to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?
Social justice and criminal justice reform are the reasons I’m involved with the Marijuana Policy Project. I run our national fundraising strategy to help legalize the medical and adult use of marijuana. MPP believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is the fact that it’s illegal. I work every day to change that. Breaking down archaic and ineffective marijuana laws is vital to ending the failed drug war. The public clearly thinks the status quo isn’t working; it’s time for a change. No one should be jailed for a plant, period. And the first step to ending the war on drugs is to legalize the medical and adult use of marijuana.
Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?
We know that unregulated, large grow operations can cause serious environmental degradation. Regulation is the key to the entire puzzle. Regulation will ensure children’s safety, generate tax revenue, increase economic opportunity, and ensure environmental sustainability.