They came from Nevada, and Colorado, and Arizona, and they brought a clear message: you are not alone.
The National Cannabis Industry Association held their first Michigan meeting on June 4 at the Om of Medicine in Ann Arbor. The Association's purpose is to lobby Washington, D.C. to guide the adoption of pro-marijuana federal policies and encourage business-friendly legislation in states where medicinal or legal cannabis is available.
Their message was welcomed by a collection of businesspersons as diverse as the industry itself. Attorneys from several cities, infused product makers, media members, owners of marijuana distribution centers, patients and caregivers were all in attendance. Presentations regarding the Association's impact and various membership options were made by NCIA co-founder and Executive Director, Aaron Smith, and Ean Seeb, NCIA's Chairman. Coordinating the event was NCIA Development Officer Bethany Moore.
Business interests always struggle to meet the unique challenges presented by an emergent industry, but the cannabis-based corporations bold enough to drive change in their individual states face more obstacles and greater hazards than other entrepreneurial endeavors. The NCIA is composed of those bold state leaders acting in concert to create a strong national network. NCIA's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. are significant and well-timed; in the last 12 months discussions at high levels of government have centered around marijuana and banking, DOJ interference, rescheduling of cannabis and honoring state-level cannabis laws. Enterprise in Michigan has an opportunity to shape national change through membership in the NCIA.
The NCIA details three Campaign projects on their website: protecting legitimate business, banking access, and fair tax policy. The NCIA has five members in Michigan, including event host Om and Mark Passerini.
The Association hosts regional conferences, as they did in Chicago in 2013 with the Midwest Cannabusiness Symposium. Their next big event is a Cannabis Business Summit in Denver, being held June 24-25. The Summit offers presentations and discussions featuring representatives from big-time cannabis industry names like Harborside Health Center, The ArcView Group, Bhang Chocolate, Marijuana Policy Project, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and many more. Details on that event can be found HERE.
For NCIA membership options and information, click HERE.