national cannabis industry association

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

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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

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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. Recreational Marijuana On The Ballot In 5 States Election Day 2016

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine ballot measures for marijuana legalization on election day 2016 will amount to the largest number of voters in history casting a vote to determine marijuana laws.

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington were the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana, and now they have the chance to be joined by five more states. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on legalizing recreational pot on ballot measures this year on election day in November.

Four other states -- Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Missouri -- will be voting on laws to make medical marijuana legal.

"This is really a watershed year for marijuana legalization, so I'm hoping that we'll see some big changes in November," F. Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told CNN.

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

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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

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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.

California: 3,000 Marijuana Professionals To Gather At National Cannabis Industry Association Summit

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As California prepares to consider cannabis legalization, the influential Cannabis Business Summit and Expo starts Monday in Oakland, featuring California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Numi Tea CEO Ahmed Rahim, industry leaders, federal lawmakers, and three days of education and networking.

More than 3,000 cannabis professionals from 16 countries will gather at the third annual conference at Oakland Marriott City Center, June 20-22, including a "who's who" of industry leaders and policy makers. The Summit takes place at a crucial time in history, with California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) ballot initiative expected to be certified for November voting, and the campaign fully underway.

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will deliver the policy keynote address on Tuesday, June 21, at 11 am. Newsom, who is running for Governor of California in 2018, is a key supporter for marijuana reform and legalization and a high-profile advocate for the benefits of embracing a legitimate cannabis industry.

Oregon: Marijuana Edible Makers Launch 'Try 5' Public Education Campaign

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The Oregon Responsible Edibles Council on Thursday announced the launch of their initial public education campaign, “Try 5.”

OREC, formed in late 2015, is a non-profit trade association of Oregon edible marijuana processors, with a mission of educating the public regarding the safe and responsible usage of edible marijuana products for adults 21 and over. Through the much needed and timely campaign, “Try 5”, OREC will be able to teach the public about proper dosage levels and help prevent accidental over-ingestion for consumers new to cannabis-infused edibles.

The “Try 5” campaign encourages new and first time edible consumers to “Know Your Dose” and start with no more than 5mg of THC. "Edibles often come in multi-serving packages and newer consumers need to know not to ingest the contents of the entire package," OREC's prepared statement reads.

The campaign features educational posters distributed to licensed dispensaries throughout the state, and will include informational booths at Oregon universities, magazine and newspaper advertisements, as well as t-shirts, hats and buttons to be worn by dispensary employees.

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

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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.

D.C.: Congresswoman Lee Joins National Cannabis Industry Association Press Conference

BarbaraLeeCongresswomanCalifornia[Facebook]

Congresswoman Barbara Lee on Thursday joined several of her colleagues and members of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) for a press conference on Capitol Hill demanding respect for state laws and fairness for the industry.

“Today, I’m pleased to join my colleagues and the National Cannabis Industry Association in making one simple request to Congress: 'Treat the industry just like any other business,'” Lee said. "It’s past time for the federal government to end its counterproductive overreach into state-legal cannabis markets.

"Last week, I was proud to join Harborside Health Center in celebrating the U.S. Attorney’s decision to end its unnecessary case against this health center," Lee said. "While it was victory for Harborside, there are still centers in my district and around the country that continue to face harassment.

"Additionally, outdated laws continue to prevent many state-legal businesses from thriving, including our arcane banking laws," Lee said. "These laws serve only to trap these businesses in the cash-only market, restrict their access to capital and prevent them from engaging in simple business-to-business transactions.

"This industry is just like any other, and Congress needs to ensure it has access to banking, just like any other industry," Congresswoman Lee said.

U.S.: Members of Congress To Join Cannabis Business Leaders Thursday and Friday

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Members of Congress on Thursday 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 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.

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

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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?

D.C.: Leaders On Capitol Hill For National Cannabis Industry Association's Lobby Days

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Cannabis industry leaders from across the country next week will travel to Washington, D.C., for the National Cannabis Industry Association's sixth annual Lobby Days. More than 100 cannabis business professionals will 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 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 de-scheduling 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.

U.S.: NCIA Calls On Sen. Grassley To Hold Hearings On Marijuana Legislation

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As Grassley holds outdated prohibitionist hearing, he continues to obstruct bipartisan efforts to help medical marijuana patients and providers

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) on Monday called on Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to respect the will of the voters and bipartisan members of his own committee by holding hearings on the CARERS Act.

The CARERS Act is bipartisan legislation, originally introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY), that would allow patients access to medical marijuana in states where it is legal without fear of federal prosecution and open up new avenues for research into marijuana's medical potential.

While he continues to obstruct any action to help critically ill patients and the providers who care for them, Senator Grassley is holding a Monday hearing designed to conjure up outdated prohibitionist fear-mongering.

California: Denver Marijuana Industry Leader Flips Car During Oakland Shootout

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

New York: Sen. Gillibrand, State Sen. Savino To Headline Cannabis Business Summit

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will deliver a noon keynote address on Monday, Sept. 21, at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Fall Regional Cannabis Business Summit, taking place at the Wyndham New Yorker in New York City, Sept. 21-22.

New York State Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island) will also speak at the Summit, delivering the morning keynote on Tuesday, Sept 22. Other speakers at the event include two of the first licensed medical marijuana providers in the state of New York.

NCIA’s Fall Regional Cannabis Business Summit provides a platform for cannabis business professionals throughout the East Coast - including New York’s emerging medical marijuana market - to discuss best business practices and patient care, while also building a regional community and gaining valuable education on relevant policy issues.

NCIA brings its Cannabis Business Summit series to New York City at an essential time. New York is about to become the newest state to bring critically ill patients legal and safe access to life-changing medical marijuana therapies. Recently, the state awarded the first five licenses for medical marijuana providers, and two of the successful applicants - Hillary Peckham of Etain and Collete Bellefleur of Bloomfield - will share their insights in an intimate discussion at 9:15am on Monday.

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