This Thursday, members of Congress will join cannabis industry leaders from across the country for a press conference to kick off National Cannabis Industry Association's sixth annual Lobby Days. More than 100 cannabis business professionals will travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in policy discussions and citizen lobby meetings to advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry.
On Thursday, May 12, NCIA leaders, business owners, and members of Congress including Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Denny Heck (D-WA), and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), will hold an 11:30am press conference at the House Triangle to kick off two days of meetings across the Hill between cannabis industry leaders and congressional staffs.
Top priorities for these business owners are a solution to the banking crisis, which prevents many legitimate cannabis businesses from accessing basic financial services, and reform to Section 280E of the federal tax code, which forces cannabis business to pay double or triple the effective federal tax rates of any other industry.
NCIA members will also advocate for the descheduling of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which would give states the authority to make their own decisions about how to handle cannabis legality, much as they currently do with alcohol.
Pennsylvania recently became the 24th state to legalize marijuana for medical use, and several states are likely to vote on adult-use or medical legalization initiatives in the 2016 elections, including California, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida (medical), and Ohio (medical).
A CBS News national poll from last month shows that 56% of Americans support full legalization of marijuana, with an eye-popping 90% supporting legalization for medical use.
This year's Cannabis Industry Lobby Days come just as Congress is beginning the appropriations process. In past years, amendments to appropriations bills have successfully protected state-legal marijuana patients and providers from federal interference. Other amendments - including additions to address the banking situation and to protect all state-legal marijuana businesses and customers - have either passed in one chamber but been dropped during omnibus negotiations or failed very narrowly.
More details and information about press attendance below.
Thursday, May 12
Press Conference and Lobby Days
11:30am - Press Conference with Members of Congress and cannabis business owners
House Triangle (House side of the Capitol's East Front)
Media please RSVP to email@example.com.
Meetings between cannabis business leaders and congressional offices will take place throughout the day on both Thursday, May 12, and Friday, May 13. Meetings are generally closed to members of the media. For other coverage options or to arrange interviews with attendees or NCIA staff, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only organization representing cannabis-related businesses at the national level. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and works toward a favorable social, economic, and legal environment for that industry in the United States.