Dated: 29 November, 2010
By Phillip Smith, November 23, 2010, 08:25pm
The marijuana industry is growing up. On Tuesday, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) officially came into being to represent the interests of the marijuana industry and its consumers. The group aims to influence policy in Washington, DC; just the same way any other industry does – by lobbying the federal government to protect the interests of its members.
“We’ve seen such tremendous growth in this industry in the last five years,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “It seems like the industry is not just surviving in the midst of economic decline, but booming. But it wasn’t represented in Washington, DC, like all sorts of other industries are. I just started talking to some of the major industry players, and just about everybody was really enthusiastic about jumping on board. This thing just blossomed.”
The makeup of the NCIA’s board of directors, with about one third of its 23 members from California, one third from Colorado, and one third from the rest of the country, correlates roughly with where the cannabis business action currently is. Most of the board members represent dispensaries or associated businesses, but there’s also Kush magazine, Weedmaps.com, a pipe-market, an insurance company, and a hemp-seller.