aaron smith

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/hemporg/public_html/news/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 34.

U.S.: Marijuana Lobbyists Denounce White House Attack On Legalized Recreational Pot

Aaron Smith.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, issued a statement denouncing the White House's attack on recreational marijuana in response to Press Secretary Sean Spicer's comments to reporters regarding the Trump administration's marijuana policy in yesterday's press briefing.

“It would be a mistake for the Department of Justice to overthrow the will of the voters and state governments who have created carefully regulated adult-use marijuana programs,” Aaron Smith said. “It would represent a rejection of the values of economic growth, limited government, and respect for federalism that Republicans claim to embrace.

“These programs are working. Marijuana interdictions at the Mexican border are down substantially, youth use has not increased in states with legal access to cannabis, and responsible cannabis businesses are contributing tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact to their communities.

“The American people overwhelmingly support this approach. National polls show that 60% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal for adult use. Furthermore, 71% of Americans – including majorities in both parties and every age group – oppose the federal government cracking down on these voter-supported programs.

Washington, DC: Spicer Says Expect To See 'Greater Enforcement' On Recreational Marijuana

Sean Spicer.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday that states should expect to see greater federal enforcement of laws against the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

While taking questions from reporters at the daily briefing, Spicer was asked if the government would take action on recreational marijuana use. Spicer replied: "Well I think that's a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe you'll see greater enforcement of it. Because again there's a big difference between the medical use ... that's very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into."

President Donald Trump “understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them,” he said, also noting previous action by Congress not to fund the Justice Department “go[ing] after those folks.”

As for “recreational marijuana, that’s a very, very different subject,” Spicer said.

Ignoring recent studies which suggest marijuana can help ease the opioid addiction crisis affecting some areas, Spicer went on to actually connect marijuana to the opioid crisis.

U.S.: NCIA Calls On Congress To Restore Commonsense Marijuana Proposals To Bills

CongressMarijuana[TheStreet].jpg

Despite bipartisan, majority support in both the House and Senate, the GOP "leadership" has blocked a fix to the dangerous banking crisis, and also stripped a provision allowing V.A. doctors to discuss medical marijuana with patients.

Recent actions by Congressional leadership have derailed two commonsense, majority-favored marijuana policy reform proposals that had been expected to pass through the appropriations process. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) on Friday called on members of Congress to work to restore those provisions as the budget negotiation process continues.

"Bipartisan majorities in the House and the Senate have supported the commonsense, compassionate ideas that law-abiding cannabis businesses shouldn't be forced into dangerous all-cash operations, and that veterans who have put themselves in harm's way for our country should be able to learn about how medical marijuana could help them deal with the physical and psychological aftermath of their sacrifices," said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith.

California: Newsom Warns Marijuana Legalization No Sure Thing

Gavin Newsom.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined leading cannabis activists Tuesday in warning that if California voters don't support legalizing recreational adult marijuana use in November it could set momentum back at least a decade on the issue.

“It’s not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination,” Newsom told a meeting of legalization supporters. “Any of you think this is done in California, you couldn’t be more wrong.”

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is expected to qualify for the California ballot in the next week or so. With that and the possibility of cannabis measures going before voters in eight other states this fall, “we’ve never had so much at stake in one election night,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association told those attending the opening of the organization’s convention Tuesday in Oakland.

“If we don’t win California and at least half of the other states in play right now, the public narrative around our industry will dramatically change for the worse and for quite some time, setting us back a decade or more,” Smith said.

If voters in all nine states support cannabis measures, Smith said that means that 1 in 4 Americans will live in a state where recreational adult use of marijuana is legal and 3 of 4 would live in a state where medicinal use is legal.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Platform To Connect Experts, Entrepreneurs

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation(logoJPG)

First-of-its-kind Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®) Kicks Off at NCIA's Cannabis Business Summit and Expo

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Brainsy, Inc., are collaborating to launch the Cannabis Expert Calling Network (ECN®), a knowledge-sharing platform connecting cannabis industry experts with entrepreneurs and information-seekers online and via paid telephone consultations.

NCIA members who are experts in their area of the cannabis industry will be invited to set up personalized profiles on the Cannabis ECN system, which allows information-seekers to find and contact them, then conduct over-the-phone consultations at a rate set by the expert.

"With so many new people and businesses entering the cannabis industry, there is a huge demand for knowledge exchange across a range of topics including cultivation and processing, dispensary operations, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, banking issues, and many more," said Aaron Smith, executive director of NCIA.

"The Cannabis ECN will allow high-caliber, experienced cannabis professionals a simple platform to share their expertise with the large number of people seeking them out and be compensated for their time," Smith said.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association, BDS Partner To Serve NCIA Members Industry Data

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation(logoJPG)

NCIA members to receive free access to BDS Analytics' GreenEdge™ cannabis sales dataset

Members of the National Cannabis Industry Association will be getting a new benefit, thanks to a partnership with cannabis market intelligence firm BDS Analytics. Beginning next month, NCIA member-businesses will receive free interactive access to market and category-level sales data compiled and contextualized by BDS, an industry source of market data and business insight.

All NCIA members will have access to data and market intelligence reports through an interactive set of dashboards, spreadsheets, and detailed reporting powered by the GreenEdge™ sales tracking software developed by BDS. Reports will cover crucial insights such as market size and growth, dollar and unit volume, retail price trends, and shifts in category mix.

Sponsoring and Sustaining NCIA members will gain access to even deeper levels of insight and reporting, including monthly executive reports, additional dashboards and reports, and personalized access to BDS Analysts.

According to NCIA, members will be able to make informed strategic decisions and answer critical business questions like:

• What proportion of industry sales come from flower vs. extractions vs. infused products?
• How big is the infused product market, and how fast is it growing?

California: Denver Marijuana Industry Leader Flips Car During Oakland Shootout

gunfire.JPG

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Denver marijuana industry leader visiting Oakland for a conference scheduled there in June was slightly injured Tuesday afternoon when he ducked to avoid gunfire and flipped his car while driving through the city.

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, was driving north on San Pablo when he heard gunshots around 2 p.m. He ducked to dodge the bullets, sideswiping a parked vehicle with his car before coming to rest on its roof.

Smith said "it felt like I was punched in the nose" when his car's air bag activated.

The shooting happened about 1:55 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of San Pablo and 27th St. Smith was able to get out of the car without aid and walked to a nearby business for help.

Smith said he was in town to prepare for the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo on June 20 at the Oakland Marriott City Center.

Smith sustained minor injuries in the incident. No-one else was injured, but an unoccupied car was hit by gunshots.

Police said they believe someone was shooting at another person on the street but apparently did not hit their target. More than a half-dozen shell casings were found at the scene.

Police have not established a motive yet for the shooting and said no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information about the shooting may call police at 510-238-3426.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Responds To Dismissal Of Marijuana Credit Union Lawsuit Against Federal Reserve

FourthCornerCreditUnion(logo)

NCIA executive director:
"This ruling sends a message loud and clear - Congress must act."

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Fourth Corner Credit Union against the Federal Reserve in hopes of providing banking services to the legal cannabis industry.

In his ruling, Judge R. Brooke Jackson said Congress must provide the answer, stating, "I regard the [cannabis banking] situation as untenable and hope that it will soon be addressed and resolved by Congress."

Fourth Corner is a credit union chartered by the State of Colorado and designed to serve legitimate cannabis businesses, but the Federal Reserve had denied its request for a master account, which would have allowed them to provide checking services to its members.

"This ruling sends a message loud and clear - Congress must act," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). "There's no shortcut, there's no band-aid, there's no work-around to fix this industry-wide.

"Forcing cannabis businesses to operate without banking access is a crisis, affecting public safety, law-abiding businesses, and the state officials in charge of regulating them," Smith said. "It's time for Congress to do its job and fix the problem."

California: Congresswoman Lee Recognized With National Cannabis Industry Association's Leadership Award

BarbaraLeeCongresswomanCalifornia[Facebook]

Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Wednesday received the 2015 Legislative Leadership Award from the National Cannabis Industry Association at the organization’s fifth annual gala dinner.

“It is truly a humbling honor to receive this award. I’d like to thank the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), Board Chairwoman Jamie Lewis and Executive Director Aaron Smith for this tremendous honor,” said Congresswoman Lee.

NCIA is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S.,a and the only organization representing cannabis-related businesses at the federal level.

“Over the last five years, NCIA has been a tireless advocate for a common sense and pro-business cannabis policy that is focused on providing care and legal access,” added Congresswoman Lee.

"As a bold leader, Congresswoman Lee has been a longtime champion of rational marijuana policies -- even before the position was popular, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the NCIA. "Now that a majority of Americans support reform, Representative Lee will no doubt be among those who lead the charge to finally end the disastrous policies of prohibition.

"The Congresswoman is also an exceptional servant to the cannabis businesses in her district by sponsoring important legislation that would end the industry's unfair and dangerous banking access crisis,” Smith said. “We are proud to be able to honor her visionary leadership by presenting her with our annual Cannabis Industry Legislator of the Year award."

Nevada: National Cannabis Industry Association To Celebrate 5th Anniversary In Vegas

AaronSmithNCIALogo[NCIA]

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will celebrate its fifth year of operation as the only national trade association for marijuana businesses with a gala dinner on Wednesday, November 11, in Las Vegas, featuring Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) as guest speakers.

At “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” NCIA’s 5th anniversary banquet, the organization will celebrate its history and that of the movement that helped create the cannabis industry, while looking ahead to the many challenges still to be faced. Rep. Titus will offer welcoming remarks.

During the banquet, NCIA will present the 2015 Legislative Leadership Award to Rep. Lee, a long-time champion of marijuana policy reform who has co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to protect cannabis businesses, patients, and consumers from federal interference. Included in those is the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act, NCIA’s priority legislation that would end the industry’s banking crisis and provide financial services for the state-legal cannabis businesses.

NCIA was founded in late 2010 by Aaron Smith and Steve Fox, seasoned advocates for marijuana policy reform who foresaw the need for a voice representing the businesses of the emerging cannabis industry in Washington, D.C. The organization was founded with fewer than 30 members, but has grown rapidly in its first five years, now representing over 900 member-businesses.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Applauds Bernie Sanders' Legalization Move

BernieSandersPointing[MotherJones]

Sanders bill would remove marijuana from Controlled Substances Act, allow states to establish cannabis policies

The National Cannabis Industry Association on Thursday applauded new legislation to be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow it to be regulated similarly to alcohol.

That approach would allow states that choose a legal, regulated approach to marijuana to move forward without federal interference and allow banking access and fair taxation to state-compliant cannabis businesses.

"Mr. President, too many Americans in this country have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use," Sanders said on the Senate floor on Thursday. "That’s wrong. That has got to change."

"The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off of the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs," Sen. Sanders said. (Read Senator Sanders’s prepared remarks here, delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday.)

“More than half of Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal in some form. And more than half of Americans now say marijuana should be fully legal,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “Federal law should respect these states, these voters, and the responsible cannabis businesses they support.

U.S.: Sanders Becomes 1st Major Party Presidential Candidate To Support Marijuana Legalization

BernieSandersMarijuanaItIsAnObscenity[CannabisAdvocatesForBernie]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Candidate Bernie Sanders, for the first time in this campaign, on Tuesday night indicated at the Democratic presidential debate that he supports marijuana legalization.

When asked how he would vote on an initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol that is set to appear on the Nevada ballot in 2016, Senator Sanders said he would likely vote "Yes."

Hillary Clinton was asked if she has taken a position on such proposals, now that it has been a year since she said she wanted to wait to see what happens in Colorado and Washington. She said she was undecided on the issue, but that we should stop imprisoning people for pot use. She also said she supports medical marijuana.

The other three candidates in the debate, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb, were not given the opportunity to answer questions regarding marijuana policy.

"This is the first time we've seen a major candidate for president say he'd probably vote for legalizing marijuana if given the chance," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "That says a lot about how far the politics on this issue have shifted in a very short amount of time.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Expands Advocacy Team On Capitol Hill

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation(logoJPG)

“We’re taking our legislative strategy to a new level, enlisting a top-quality bipartisan team to further fight for the rights of our responsible small business owners.”

With the legal marijuana business valued at nearly $3 billion nationwide and growing, a national trade group -- the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) -- is expanding its advocacy team on Capitol Hill.

NCIA has partnered with D.C.-based public affairs firms Heather Podesta + Partners and Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC to magnify its efforts to address the industry’s top federal priorities: access to basic banking services and fair federal taxation.

“In the five years since NCIA was formed, we’ve gone from simply seeking to have our industry’s issues taken seriously to bipartisan legislation introduced in both chambers,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “We’ve seen successful appropriations amendment votes on the House floor and in Senate committee, and we’ve helped bring together a coalition of lawmakers that spans the political spectrum.

“Now we’re taking our legislative strategy to a new level, enlisting a top-quality bipartisan team to further fight for the rights of our responsible small business owners to be treated fairly under federal law,” Smith said.

U.S.: NCIA To Present 2nd Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo

NCIACannabisBusinessSummit

The National Cannabis Industry Association on Friday announced its second annual national conference, the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, taking place June 29-July 1 in Denver, Colorado.

The summit will offer cannabis business leaders an open forum to discuss best practices and business developments throughout the industry. Over the course of three days, attendees will have the opportunity to explore various workshops and tours, view over 100 exhibitor stations, network with over 2,000 attendees from the cannabis business industry, attend an investor demo day event, and finally let loose at the popular Cannabis Carnival II.

The summit is positioned for business owners and operators across multiple verticals in the cannabis industry. Several topic-oriented tracks will give attendees the opportunity to focus on their area of expertise.

Tracks offered include: Running Your Cannabusiness; Cultivation and Processing; Money Matters: Finance, Accounting and Insurance; The Law, Policy and Reform; as well as Emerging Topics offering attendees an open forum to discuss industry updates and trends. Featured educational sessions will highlight some of the industry's leading pioneers and figureheads.

Conference Highlights

• Educational facility tours and workshops

• Investor Demo Day Event, featuring a select group of cannabis startups

• Second Annual Cannabis Carnival Music Concert, featuring an eclectic lineup of world-class musicians

U.S.: Rep. Blumenauer, Sen. Wyden Announce Tax Reform For Legal Marijuana Businesses

EarlBlumenauerAndRonWyden[wn.com]

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Thursday announced plans to introduce bicameral legislation next week that would reconcile state marijuana laws and federal tax law.

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which was introduced last Congress by Congressman Blumenauer, would create an exception to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E to allow marijuana businesses operating in compliance with state law to take deductions associated with the sale of marijuana like any other legal business.

“More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “It’s time for the federal government to catch up."

"Section 280E creates an unequal and unrealistic tax burden on these businesses," Blumenauer said. "I’m excited to work with Senator Wyden in introducing the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would bring much needed fairness and level the playing field for small businesses that follow state laws and create jobs.”

“Our legislation would provide an overdue update to federal tax law, which has not caught up to the fact that it’s 2015 and Oregonians have voted both to legalize medical marijuana and to regulate marijuana for recreational use,” Senator Wyden said. “This is a question of standing up for the people of Oregon, and ensuring that the federal government respects the decision Oregonians have made at the ballot box.”

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Drops Tommy Chong As Spokesman

TommyChongSad

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Iconic stoner Tommy Chong has been dropped as a spokesman by pro-marijuana lobbying group the National Cannabis Industry Association.

According to NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith, the pot lobby is tired of the Cheech & Chong stoner jokes and wants to be taken seriously in Congress, reports Burgess Everett at Politico. The cannabis industry reportedly wants to move past the stoner stereotypes represented by Chong as it tries to remake itself as a "serious suits segment" of the economy.

Smith, in a Monday email sent to Chong's representatives and allies, said that after feedback from "allied members of Congress," the group decided Chong wasn't its best representative in D.C., particularly when it comes to influencing right-wing lawmakers.

"Having Tommy out in D.C. for the NCIA Lobby Days will detract from the overall message we aim for with the event, which is that cannabis business people are regular professionals and relatable to the generally conservative members of Congress we are looking to appeal to," Smith wrote. "We are here to break 'stoner' stereotypes rather than reinforce them."

U.S.: Top 6 Moments In The Historic First Year of Marijuana Legalization Listed By NCIA

Legalized ... 2014

“There’s no superlative that could adequately describe the impact that 2014 has had on the cannabis industry.”
~ Aaron Smith, NCIA

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Colorado’s history-making opening of legal adult-use sales of marijuana, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is looking back at the most monumental year in the history of the cannabis industry.

“There’s no superlative that could adequately describe the impact that 2014 has had on the cannabis industry,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “The success of adult-use legalization in Colorado and Washington, the overwhelming public opinion in favor of medical marijuana, and the steady march of policy change at both the state and federal levels have created an entirely new world.

“NCIA is proud to work on behalf of the businesses, consumers, patients, and advocates all striving to build a cannabis industry that is successful, responsible, engaged in our communities, and treated fairly by policy-makers,” Smith said.

Nearly every week brought new ground-breaking developments, but here are NCIA’s top six moments in a year that has changed the industry forever.

1. Legal adult-use sales begin in Colorado.

U.S.: Cannabis Industry Calls On Congress To Respect People's Choice For Legalization

AaronSmithNCIA

Possible budget deal to block implementation of regulated system in D.C. violates overwhelming will of voters

“This is a move that would manage to be both cynical and stupid, not to mention deeply out of touch.” ~ Aaron Smith, NCIA

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) on Tuesday responded to reports that an upcoming Congressional budget deal may include a provision blocking the creation of regulations for Washington, D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative, which passed on Election Day with more than 2-1 support from voters.

“D.C. voters overwhelmingly chose to take a smarter and safer approach to marijuana policy by allowing for the creation of a responsible, regulated system for production and sales,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “Apparently, Congress is not interested in being smart, or safe, or democratic.

“Dictatorially blocking D.C.’s ability to create a regulatory system for already-decriminalized marijuana isn’t just a violation of the voters’ clearly stated will," Smith said. "It would rob the city of the chance to mandate responsible selling practices, monitor for safe products, and benefit from a powerful economic engine.

“This is a move that would manage to be both cynical and stupid, not to mention deeply out of touch with the majority of American voters, who want the federal government to butt out of local marijuana policy choices,” Smith said.

Colorado: First Ever NCIA Cannabis Business Summit Will Be June 24-25 in Denver

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation

Conference hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association, focused on cannabusiness professionals; more than 800 expected to attend

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will hold its first ever Cannabis Business Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, June 24 – 25.

The event is expected to draw more than 800 cannabis industry leaders, entrepreneurs and service providers to discuss best practices, technological advances, evolving regulatory environments, opportunities, and responsibilities surrounding the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry.

“The Cannabis Business Summit will be one of the largest and most professional gatherings of cannabis industry leaders in the country,” said Taylor West, deputy director of NCIA. “It’s a must-attend event for anyone trying to understand the legal cannabis industry and where it’s headed.

“It’s also an incredible opportunity for cannabusiness people, investors, policy reformers, and media to all meet, talk, and learn from each other,” West said.

Those attending are expected to be new and experienced dispensary owners and operators, cultivation professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, regulators, infused product specialists, attorneys, industry consultants and cannabis-related service providers. The summit’s agenda covers:

· Cannabusiness 101

· Advanced Cannabusiness

· Ancillary Services and Products

· Cannabis Policy and Reform

· Emerging Topics and Roundtable Discussions

Oregon/Washington: National Cannabis Industry Association Hosting Events

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociation

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Cannabis Industry Association will host education and networking events this week for industry stakeholders and organization members. MJ Freeway is sponsoring the NCIA events in Portland, Oregon (on Monday) and Tacoma, Washington (Tuesday).

The Cannabis Industry Reception in Portland will serve as a networking opportunity for interested parties in the state's marijuana industry who want to meet NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith and members from within the state. Attendees can potentially join the organization themselves, and can learn more about the NCIA's activities both at the state and the national level.

The Oregon reception will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, September 30, at the Paragon Restaurant in Portland.

The Washington Educational Series Event will focus primarily on the state's legalization of retail marijuana sales through I-502, exploring the implementation of the legislation and its impact throughout the country. Also presented will be information about what NCIA itself is doing to advance the industry's interests.

The Washington event opens its doors at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, at the Pacific Grill in Tacoma.

For more information about either event, or to register for either, visit the NCIA events page at http://thecannabisindustry.org/events.

Syndicate content