WASHINGTON, D.C. – Forbes Tate Partners (FTP) today announced the addition of Shanita Penny as Senior Vice President to its public affairs and cannabis practices. Penny brings extensive experience working as a cannabis professional, small business advocate, and an entrepreneur who has played a crucial role in helping reform cannabis laws and advance equitable policies. She will continue as a Senior Advisor to the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), which represents issue experts and a vast group of stakeholders from regulated industries committed to establishing a responsible and equitable federal regulatory framework for cannabis in the United States. 

“I can’t think of a better time to welcome a supply chain expert and small business advocate like Shanita Penny to the Forbes Tate team,” said Founding Partner Jeff Forbes. “Her vast knowledge on emerging markets, consumer safety, and competition policy is a boon to our clients as they navigate today’s rapidly changing economic environment. I’m also looking forward to the work she will continue to do on reforming cannabis at the federal level and advancing FTP as a thoughtful leader in this space.”  

“I’m excited to be joining Forbes Tate’s accomplished team during an explosion of support for cannabis reform at both the state and federal level,” said Shanita Penny. “As conversations about federal cannabis regulation progress, I’m eager to provide our clients the counsel necessary to successfully navigate this dynamic landscape. I also look forward to broadening the firm’s reach and shaping responsible policies for businesses and consumers alike.” 

“The cannabis industry is constantly evolving as more states legalize and more companies enter the space. At FTP, we have worked to help shape what a safe and equitable federal regulatory framework for cannabis will look like,” said FTP Senior Vice President and CPEAR Executive Director Andrew Freedman. “Shanita’s invaluable expertise will greatly aid our efforts in the cannabis space and will also bring unique voices from the business sector into the conversation, expanding Forbes Tate’s reach in the beltway and beyond.”  

Before joining FTP, Penny served as President of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) where she advocated for social equity policies in the industry, such as increasing diversity, expanding equal access, and promoting economic empowerment in communities most impacted by the war on drugs. She has lobbied on Capitol Hill with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to help reform federal cannabis laws. She founded a boutique cannabis consultancy, Budding Solutions, to help clients establish and scale compliant, successful cannabis businesses. She also co-founded DocHouse, a craft cannabis cultivator and manufacturer acquired by Ayr Wellness. Penny currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Sensible Markets and on the Advisory Board of Regennabis, and Shoki Beverages. 

Shanita Penny is internationally recognized for her prowess in management consulting, having spent over a decade assisting Fortune 500 companies improve business performance. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore and Towson University where she was a Wright Global Scholar. She earned her B.S. in Transportation and Logistics Management at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.  

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Forbes Tate Partners is a bipartisan, integrated full-service public affairs consultancy specializing in government relations, traditional and digital communications, grassroots advocacy and third-party coordination, insights and polling, coalition management, and business development. FTP can help you develop and deliver winning strategies to communicate and engage your key audiences.

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