National Cannabis Industry Association

National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)
Founded 2010
Founder Aaron Smith and Steve Fox
Type Trade association
Focus Legalization of cannabis in the United States
Commercialization of cannabis sales
  • Washington, D.C.
Area served
United States

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is an American non-profit organization based in the District of Columbia, with an additional office in Denver, Colorado. NCIA is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only organization representing state-sanctioned cannabis-related businesses at the federal level. Its mission is "to promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and work for a favorable social, economic and legal environment for that industry in the United States."[1] The organization was founded in late 2010 and has been described as the "first national trade group for the cannabis industry" in the United States.[2][3][4]

As the cannabis industry has grown and matured dramatically in recent years, NCIA has grown with it. In January 2013, NCIA had 118 member businesses. In January 2014, NCIA had "nearly 400" member businesses.[5] As of November 2014, NCIA had nearly 800 member businesses.

The NCIA has been negatively compared to the lobbying arms of the alcohol and tobacco industries, with activists worried that it could harm legalization efforts.[6]


The NCIA promotes a multitude of virtues it sees in the cannabis plant and its trade, including how the plant may help heal the sick, how legalization adds much-needed tax dollars to government coffers on the local, state, and national levels, and how these and other benefits radiate out into communities.[7][8]

The NCIA lobbies Congress to tax cannabis fairly and to allow cannabis businesses easier access to the banking industry.[9][10]

The trade group's work also extends to the local level; it helps marijuana and medical marijuana businesses navigate a patchwork of laws that differ by state and locality.[11]

NCIA also hosts educational and training events for members and others interested in learning about the cannabis industry.[12] In June 2014, NCIA hosted the first national Cannabis Business Summit, a two-day event featuring more than 1,000 attendees and numerous discussions of regulations, banking, product lines, insurance, energy efficiency, human resources and other issues related to the burgeoning marijuana industry.[13] In August, NCIA launched the first-ever food safety training program designed for cannabis-infused edibles producers, as well as a training designed to teach responsible practices for cannabis retailers.[14]


As of November 2014, the National Cannabis Industry Association has nearly 800 member businesses.[15]


In a Huffington Post interview, Mark Kleiman, the "Pot Czar" of Washington state, said he was concerned that the NCIA would favor profits over public health. He also said that it could become a predatory body like the lobbying arms of the tobacco and alcohol industries. Kleiman said: "The fact that the National Cannabis Industry Association has hired itself a K Street suit [lobbyist] is not a good sign."[6]

See also


  1. "Mission and Values". National Cannabis Industry Association. 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  2. Warner, Joel (2010-12-01). "Pot lobbying group National Cannabis Industry Assoc. first of its kind, stacked with CO players". Westword. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  3. Tencer, Daniel (2010-12-12). "Move over, Big Pharma and Big Oil, Big Marijuana is here". The Raw Story. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  4. Hotakainen, Rob (2010-12-12). "Marijuana-legalization push gets voice on Capitol Hill". McClatchy DC. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  5. Niraj Chokshi (2 January 2014). "Marijuana legalization in Colorado reflects a maturing industry". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  6. 1 2 "7 Things That Could Totally Kill Weed Legalization's Buzz". Huffington Post. 18 April 2014.
  7. Goodman, Michelle "An MBA for stoners: Get ready for the next growth industry" Salon November 16, 2013
  8. Excellence in Philanthropy: Drug Donors
  9. Saddiqui, Sabrina and Reilly, Ryan J. "Marijuana Industry Lobbies Congress On Taxes" The Huffington Post June 6, 2013
  10. Byron Tau; Rachael Bade (29 January 2014). "Puff, Puff: Pass the tax break". Politico. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  11. Frosch, Dan "New Trade Group’s Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry" The New York Times November 22, 2010
  12. "NCIA Events Page".
  13. Richardson, Valerie (29 June 2014). "Tie-dyed no more: At Colorado summit, pot industry is serious business". Washington Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  14. Wallis, Daniel (6 August 2014). "U.S. marijuana industry group launches first food safety course". Reuters. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  15. "Members". National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 7 November 2014.

External links

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