Dustin McDonald: Leading and Navigating a Digital Lobbying Landscape on Medical Cannabis Policy


Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest US member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. Dustin McDonald leads ASA’s critically important policy work which is centered improving access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, governments, medical professionals, and medical cannabis providers.

“Medical cannabis has tremendous potential to treat a wide variety of patient health conditions, and I am excited to work with physicians, researchers and patients to educate elected leaders, change laws and make medical cannabis legal, accessible and affordable to patients across the country.

Dustin has vast experience in policy work specific to the US cannabis industry. At Weedmaps, a tech platform serving both the adult-use and medical cannabis communities, he built a team focused on international law and policy, a government relations team and government engagements on cannabis policy issues from local to international cannabis programs. As well, Dustin has served a variety of successful advocacy campaigns on a diverse group of issues.

At ASA, Dustin manages a seemingly boundless portfolio of work including government relations, or lobbying. Lobbying looks very differently during a pandemic. Being an effective lobbyist in our new digital world takes a very special skillset. As a medical cannabis patient, Dustin has firsthand knowledge of the acute need for sound policy at every legislative level to ensure patients are kept safe and are utilizing a system that’s efficient.

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