FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 23, 2010
Business Leaders Roll Out National Trade Association for Legal Marijuana Industry
Organization is the first of its kind in United States
CONTACT: Aaron Smith, NCIA executive director at (707) 291-0076 or Aaron@TheCannabisIndustry.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) stepped forward today as the first national trade group representing the interests of the cannabis industry and its consumers. More than twenty professionals from various sectors of the cannabis industry comprise the initial board of directors of NCIA, which was formed with the express purpose of improving business conditions for the industry.
The association’s formation comes at the heels of the decision by Arizona voters to become the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana. “The ever-expanding list of state-sanctioned medical cannabis providers and ancillary businesses have easily become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, generating thousands of good jobs and paying tens – if not hundreds – of millions in taxes,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “These businesses have clearly earned the right to strong representation on the national stage and recognition as a true force for economic growth.”
As reported by the New York Times today, the NCIA board of directors includes some of the most preeminent figures in the cannabis industry. Collectively, they have already been featured in Fortune magazine, The New York Times, Business Week, CNBC, Fox Business News and countless other media outlets.
Becky DeKeuster is CEO of Northeast Patients Group, which will operate four state-licensed, non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine. DeKeuster joined the NCIA board of directors and hopes to encourage others in the medical cannabis community to support the fledgling trade association. “I’m proud to be one of NCIA’s founding members,” DeKeuster said. “This organization will be a great step forward not only for the medical cannabis industry, but also for the interests of the countless patients nationwide who rely on us to provide safe and effective natural medicine.”
Another NCIA board member, Kush Magazine CEO Bob Selan, says that the trade association will be the force that finally unifies an extremely diverse industry. “In my years working for a top cannabis culture publication, I’ve met an astonishing number of talented individuals who are experts in their particular field. From cannabis cultivators to pipe manufacturers to crop insurance brokers, all will benefit from being collectively represented by the national industry association,” stated Selan.
The trade association will ensure that the interests of the burgeoning cannabis industry are represented in the halls of Congress and in the national media. In addition to working to repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana, NCIA is already focusing on more immediate policy goals for the industry such as ensuring that the nation’s revenue and banking policies are not out of step with state laws allowing medical cannabis sales.
For more information, please visit TheCannabisIndustry.org.