Based in Washington, the group will focus primarily on lobbying, but will also help medical marijuana businesses navigate a patchwork of laws that differ depending on location.
“This is an industry that is emerging — from the dispensaries to the ancillary businesses that are now coming out of the shadows,” said Aaron Smith, a medical marijuana advocate in Phoenix and the group’s executive director. “While there is good work being done, there isn’t anyone out there representing the industry’s interests directly.”
Various Colorado players are present on the NCIA's board, including Cheryl Brown, president of the Medical Marijuana Business Alliance; Brian Vicente from Sensible Colorado; Robert Winnicki from Full Spectrum Laboratories; and Wanda James, co-owner of Apothecary of Colorado, and new edibles company Simply Pure. (Look for more on SP in this week's Independent, which will be on the streets Wednesday.)