National Cannabis Industry Association

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]


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.[10][11]

The NCIA lobbies Congress to tax cannabis fairly and to allow cannabis businesses easier access to the banking industry.[12][13]

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.[14]

NCIA also hosts educational and training events for members and others interested in learning about the cannabis industry.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

On August 29, 2012, leaders launched the National Cannabis Industry Association PAC to contribute funds to cannabis-friendly politicians and causes.[18]

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.[19]

In 2018, NCIA spent $560,000 on political lobbying, roughly 21% of total U.S. cannabis industry lobbying spending of $2.7 million.[20]

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.[20] 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.[21]


As of January 2018, the National Cannabis Industry Association has more than 1,500 member businesses.[22]

Colorado based insurance broker JB Woods of Greenpoint Insurance Advisors, LLC was one of the original founding members of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Woods' company contributed financial and other resources to help launch the association. Greenpoint Insurance Advisors, LLC was one of the few insurance brokers to specialize in cannabis insurance at the time.[23]


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]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "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. ^ Goodman, Michelle "An MBA for stoners: Get ready for the next growth industry" Salon November 16, 2013
  11. ^ Excellence in Philanthropy: Drug Donors
  12. ^ Saddiqui, Sabrina and Reilly, Ryan J. "Marijuana Industry Lobbies Congress On Taxes" The Huffington Post June 6, 2013
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Frosch, Dan [1] "New Trade Group’s Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry" The New York Times November 22, 2010
  15. ^ "NCIA Events Page".
  16. ^ Richardson, Valerie (29 June 2014). "Tie-dyed no more: At Colorado summit, pot industry is serious business". Washington Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Cannabis PAC is no joke". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  19. ^ "2016 Post-Election Analysis : Cannabis Industry Grows in 9 More States | Cannabis Radio". Cannabis Radio. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  20. ^ a b NW, The Center for Responsive Politics 1300 L. St; Washington, Suite 200; fax857-7809, DC 20005 telelphone857-0044 (2019-06-07). "Banking groups lobby Congress to enable banking services for cannabis companies". OpenSecrets News. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  21. ^ Angell, Tom. "Congressional Funding Bill Protects Cannabis Banking And Lets DC Legalize Marijuana Sales". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  22. ^ "Member Directory - The National Cannabis Industry Association". The National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  23. ^ "New Trade Group's Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry".

External links[edit]