Characterization of trichome phenotypes to assess maturation and flower development in Cannabis sativa L. by automatic trichome gland analysis

Add links
National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)
FounderAaron Smith and Steve Fox
TypeTrade association
FocusLegalization 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. The group officially held its first board meeting on December 16, 2010 with a small handful of members.[5] In January 2013, NCIA had 118 member businesses. In January 2014, NCIA had "nearly 400" member businesses.[6] As of July 2017, NCIA had nearly 1,400 member businesses.[7] In June 2019, NCIA reported nearly 2,000 member businesses.[8]

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.[9]

In February 2020, the organization brought on five new board members; Canopy Rivers president and CEO Narbe Alexandrian, Law Offices of Omar Figueroa Inc. principal Omar Figueroa, Rocky Mountain Reagents Inc. VP Liz Geisleman, Copperstate Farms general counsel Ryan Hurley and Indica LLC and Stick Ypsi co-founder Chris Jackson.[10]


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.[11][12]

The NCIA lobbies Congress to tax cannabis fairly and to allow cannabis businesses easier access to the banking industry.[13][14]

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.[15]

NCIA also hosts educational and training events for members and others interested in learning about the cannabis industry.[16] 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.[17] Since then, the Cannabis Business Summit has been held annually, and the 2017 Cannabis Business Summit featured 4,500 attendees and a keynote address from former President of Mexico Vicente Fox.[18] The 2019 Cannabis Business Summit hosted over 10,000 attendees and featured a blues-themed closing celebration with actor Jim Belushi.[19]

On August 29, 2012, leaders launched the National Cannabis Industry Association PAC to contribute funds to cannabis-friendly politicians and causes.[20]

In 2016 NCIA launched NCIA's Cannabis Industry Voice, a podcast covering the ever-changing legal and business landscape of cannabis in the United States.[21]

In 2018, NCIA spent $560,000 on political lobbying, roughly 21% of total U.S. cannabis industry lobbying spending of $2.7 million.[22]

In 2019, NCIA, the American Bankers Association, and the Credit Union National Association all came out in favor of the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks and credit unions to work with cannabis businesses in states where such businesses are legal.[22] The National Association of State Treasurers, the National Association of Attorneys General, and all 50 state banking associations have also endorsed the SAFE Banking Act.[23]

On July 18, 2019, NCIA joined 4Front Holdings[24] and more than 100 other signatories in submitting an open letter to the House Judiciary Committee, calling for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and for efforts to address the racially disparate harm caused by federal cannabis prohibition.[25][26]

In June 2020, NCIA launched their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives under the leadership of DEI Manager, Tahir Johnson, including the Social Equity Scholarship Program which now grants complimentary membership to over 100 social equity applicants and operators around the country.[27]


As of March 2021, the National Cannabis Industry Association has nearly 1,500 member businesses.[7]


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."[9] [28]

See also


  1. ^ "Mission and Values". National Cannabis Industry Association. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. 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. ^ "National Cannabis Industry Association Will Launch at the World's Largest Cannabis Lifestyle Convention - Salem-News.Com". Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  6. ^ Niraj Chokshi (2 January 2014). "Marijuana legalization in Colorado reflects a maturing industry". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Member Directory - The National Cannabis Industry Association". The National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  8. ^ "Members Archive". The National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  9. ^ a b "7 Things That Could Totally Kill Weed Legalization's Buzz". Huffington Post. 18 April 2014.
  10. ^ Price, Stephanie (2020-02-13). "National Cannabis Industry Association welcomes board members". Health Europa. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  11. ^ Goodman, Michelle "An MBA for stoners: Get ready for the next growth industry" Salon November 16, 2013
  12. ^ Excellence in Philanthropy: Drug Donors
  13. ^ Saddiqui, Sabrina and Reilly, Ryan J. "Marijuana Industry Lobbies Congress On Taxes" The Huffington Post June 6, 2013
  14. ^ Byron Tau; Rachael Bade (29 January 2014). "Puff, Puff: Pass the tax break". Politico. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  15. ^ Frosch, Dan [1] "New Trade Group’s Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry" The New York Times November 22, 2010
  16. ^ "NCIA Events Page".
  17. ^ Richardson, Valerie (29 June 2014). "Tie-dyed no more: At Colorado summit, pot industry is serious business". Washington Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  18. ^ Sheidlower, Nate. "The 'Green Rush' Went Next Level at Last Week's Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Oakland". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  19. ^ "The grass grows greener: 10,000 expected at Cannabis Business Summit & Expo". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  20. ^ "Cannabis PAC is no joke". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  21. ^ "2016 Post-Election Analysis : Cannabis Industry Grows in 9 More States | Cannabis Radio". Cannabis Radio. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  22. ^ a b "Banking groups lobby Congress to enable banking services for cannabis companies". OpenSecrets. 7 June 2019.
  23. ^ Angell, Tom. "Congressional Funding Bill Protects Cannabis Banking And Lets DC Legalize Marijuana Sales". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  24. ^ "4Front Delivers Letter with more than 100 Signatories to Congress Urging an End to the Criminalization of Cannabis". Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  25. ^ "Cannabis Industry and Policy Reform Advocates Urge Congress to Promote Equity and Address Racially Disparate Harms Caused by Prohibition". The National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  26. ^ "Cannabis Business and Organization Sign on Letter to House Judiciary | United States House Of Representatives | U.S. State". Scribd. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  27. ^ "NCIA Offering Complimentary Membership to All Social Equity Business Program Applicants and Licensees".
  28. ^ "First legal cannabis business opens in Chula Vista". 11 November 2020. Retrieved 2021-01-20.

External links