Companies in the legal weed business support the National Cannabis Industry Association in droves, thanks to its relentless effort to push for fairness in marijuana laws, regulations, and business practices. The Washington, D.C. based not-for-profit organization has been a headache for anti-cannabis forces in the White House and at Capitol Hill since 2010, and its operation is picking up steam with the gradual movement toward full legalization.
The NCIA’s member directory is like a who’s who in the world of cannabis. Technology companies like Leafbuyer, edible producers like Kiva Confections, accessory producers, festival organizers, extraction labs, and more industry mainstays partner with the NCIA so they have a voice fighting for them in Washington. The organization has jumped from 118 member businesses in January 2013 to a whopping 1,400 in July 2017, and we can expect that number to keep growing as the legalization effort moves forward and the people’s voice gets stronger.
What They’re About
The NCIA’s core values involve promoting cannabis in a positive way, limiting or eliminating penalties for the use or sale of marijuana, and making sure that the legalized industry does not get overrun by blood-sucking corporations looking to exploit the cannabis community. They stress the tax benefits of weed legalization at local, state, and federal levels, and they are pushing for a loosening of the regulations that disallow cannabis industry businesses to participate in the United States banking system. The organization wants to help recreational dispensaries, growers, and anyone else directly involved in the cannabis industry to eliminate the costly and risky issue of dealing 100% in cash.
Lobbying the United States Congress is a dirty game, and the NCIA can be commended for its efforts thus far. Thanks in part to the efforts of the NCIA, Congressmen in both the House and Senate introduced The Small Business Equity Act of 2017, which would grant legal cannabis companies the ability to make normal small business deductions. On the same day, The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act was brought to the floor as an attempt to treat marijuana like an alcoholic beverage (rather than like a narcotic), and another bill that dealt with banking and tax issues called The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap (RAMP) Act.
Cannabis entrepreneurs also support the National Cannabis Industry Association for its exclusive member events. The NCIA hosts a series of members-only Cannabis Caucus meetings in various locations around the United States. In October 2017 alone, NCIA supporters will gather in Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, Boulder, Providence, Santa Rosa, and Chicago to discuss trends in the marijuana industry and the organization’s agenda for the upcoming months and years.
The NCIA’s main event is its Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, which takes place in Oakland, California every June. The giant trade show brings together thousands of industry participants for thought-provoking discussion from industry leaders and activists, along with opportunities to meet the major players in cannabis production and its ancillary businesses. The 2017 event featured a keynote speech from former President of Mexico Vincente Fox, which took a deep dive into the failing War on Drugs and how the trend toward legalization could have countless positive outcomes for global governments.
In February 2018, the NCIA’s first Seed to Sale Show will take place in Denver. This event will focus more on the science and innovation side of cannabis. It will be a forum for marijuana entrepreneurs to share their best practices and learn more about the technology driving the rapid expansion of the cannabis industry. Cannabis producers, extraction labs, and grow light manufacturers are among a few of the types of crowds expected at what is being billed as The Largest B2B Cannabis Event in Denver.
With organizations like CNBNC, Forbes, CBS, and The Washington Post covering the National Cannabis Industry Association’s efforts for reform (as well as their trade shows), the organization is gaining some serious traction. The continued support of its member businesses will go a long way toward ensuring that the NCIA remains credible and well-managed, with enough resources to represent the interests of the legal weed industry and the cannabis community at large.
Particularly with the recent legalization of recreational pot in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, the NCIA member list should see a dramatic increase over the next several years. With the growing complexity of state-to-state differences in cannabis laws, as well as ongoing federal issues like taxes and banking, the NCIA will be looking for all of the support it can get to keep the fight alive.
As of 2017, a majority of states in the USA have legalized medical cannabis on some level, and eight states authorized the sale of recreational marijuana. The cannabis community is winning. Through supporting the National Cannabis Industry Association, members get political representation, networking opportunities, heightened brand awareness, and access to exclusive events such as the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo. The NCIA has formed a symbiotic relationship with the industry it serves, and this partnership should reap more rewards for the cannabis community on both a micro and a macro level in the future.