WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, cannabis business leaders with the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) joined members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol to draw attention to the success of regulated legal cannabis programs around the country and to advocate for policy reforms to protect the legal industry.
Lawmakers including Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Matthew Gaetz (R-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Lou Correa (D-CA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Jared Polis (D-CO) voiced their support for preventing the federal government from prosecuting businesses operating in compliance with state laws, as well as current legislative efforts to open access to financial services, create parity in the tax code for legal cannabis businesses, end racial disparity in marijuana enforcement, and expand access to medical cannabis for our nation’s veterans.
This event coincides with NCIA’s 8th Annual Lobby Days, during which more than 200 cannabis industry leaders representing 23 states and the District of Columbia met with hundreds of congressional offices to discuss the success of legal cannabis programs and promote policies that will end governmental discrimination against their industry.
“The states have already proven that replacing the criminal marijuana markets with tightly-regulated and transparent small businesses is working,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “Now the responsibility falls on Congress to reform federal laws so that the legal cannabis industry can be treated fairly, like any other legitimate business sector in the U.S.”
Also on Wednesday, NCIA is releasing a new report analyzing the progress made in states where cannabis is legal for medical and adult use. The report provides a detailed look at the economic and social impact of legal cannabis programs, success in reducing access for minors, ways to address continuing racial disparity in marijuana enforcement as well as access to legal business opportunities, and the need for fairness in banking and tax policy.