NEW YORK – Kris Krane, co-founder of vertically integrated multistate operator 4Front Ventures, has left the company he led for eleven years to pursue a new role in corporate communications.
Krane, a long-time activist and advocate for legalization, joined KCSA Strategic Communications, a New-York-based integrated communications firm, to establish a presence in Chicago and advise the firm’s cannabis clients. He also will play an active role on KCSA’s The Green Rush podcast.
Advising cannabis businesses is nothing new for Krane. 4Front Ventures saw its genesis in February 2011 as 4Front Advisors, a consulting firm that helped companies develop operating procedures for running professional, compliant businesses. Krane served as president of 4Front Ventures from 2015 through August 2021.
“I’m fortunate to have been with 4Front for almost eleven years, having helped the company grow from a small consulting startup to a large, multistate operator today,” he said. “It was an incredible journey and one that I am immensely proud of having played a key role in. But eleven years is a long time to be in one place, and I recognize the truth in the old adage that the people who start a company and take it to a certain point are often not the people to take it to the next stage in the company’s development.
“With 4Front in very capable hands today, including what I consider to be among the best operational teams in the cannabis industry, it felt like the right time for me to move on to other pursuits and opportunities,” he added.
Those pursuits and opportunities will continue to include activism and advocacy. A devoted policy wonk since college, Krane helped promote sensible, progressive cannabis policies on local and federal levels with some of the biggest reform organizations in the country. He served as associate director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2000 to 2005 and executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006 to 2009. He currently serves on the National Cannabis Industry Association board of directors and pens a column about the cannabis industry for Forbes. He has provided written testimony to Congress and state legislatures.
“One of the things that impressed me about KCSA was their team’s commitment to the broader cause of ending prohibition, having done work for advocacy organizations like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies,” he said. “I hope to be able to use my new role at KCSA to help further the reform movement by providing messaging and [public-relations] support to those doing the hard work of cannabis advocacy. I’m also hoping to find ways to help social equity and smaller cannabis businesses benefit from the kinds of services that KCSA provides.
“Having served over a decade as an executive in the cannabis industry, I am hoping that experience allows me to provide a unique perspective to KCSA and its clients, helping to craft messaging and PR strategies that are tailored for the needs of clients like those I formerly worked for,” he continued. “Couple that with my extensive experience in advocacy, and I hope to be able to work with our cannabis clients at KCSA to help them develop messages that will advance the movement’s policy goals while helping open new markets for our clients.”