By Lindsey Rinehart
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) held an intimate, members only event in Portland, OR last Tuesday that was very fun and informative. It definitely gives hope that someone is doing something on a federal level! The evening started slowly as people trickled in on Portland's hottest calendar day of the year, at almost 100 degrees. A party room was reserved for the event at the hip Paragon Restaurant and Bar in downtown Portland that had an open end that allowed for overflow onto a private patio. It was standing room only, and even then, a lot of attendees chose to mingle outside.
The event was sponsored by Eden Labs, MJ Freeway, and The ArcView Group. Eden Labs had a magnificent Co2 Extractor on display, The Hi-Flo CO2 System, with a representative and information available. It is the newest technology available from the company and uses liquid CO2, instead of CO2 in a gaseous state. MJ Freeway had a friendly representative available to discuss their system and give information as well with a demo available.
The event was mostly mingling with like minds, and there were plenty of great networking opportunities available within the guests present. About half way through the event there was an update on Federal Policy, and also an update from Anthony Johnson on New Approach Oregon's Legalization Initiative 53 qualifying for the ballot.
We heard great news from NCIA on banking, as they updated that since the DOJ has relaxed its stance on banks that the banks are now starting to do business with medical marijuana facilities!! We also heard not so great news of the The Federal Government applying 280E to the medical marijuana facilities to tax them more heavily. Thankfully, NCIA reassures us that they have a lobbyist present working to represent our interests. Their lobbyist is also continuing to work on the banking as well as several other discussions on Capitol Hill.
It was great to hear Anthony Johnson the Chief Petitioner of I-53 and the Director of OCIA (Oregon Cannabis Industry Association) discuss legalization in OR! With 145,000 signatures, New Approach Oregon as definitely qualified for the ballot as they only needed 88,000 signatures to do so! Now, we in OR get the chance to vote on possessing up to 8oz, 4 plants per house, and recreational dispensaries for safe access for anyone age 21 an over!!
All in all it was a great evening of discussions, information, and progress. I can't wait to see this industry continue to evolve and develop!