National group lobbies for pot, pediatricians support decriminalization and more 


Please note: This story has been updated from its print version to correct the length NCCC has been extant; the number of expected members; and the ownership of BioTrackTHC.

New national voice

The mainstreaming of marijuana continues with the creation of the National Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (nationalcannabischamberofcommerce.com), a four-month-old organization that will both lobby Washington and host your next industry meet-and-greet, says Brenda Sandoval, the southern Colorado director of sales.

"Of course, we'll have dispensaries and growers, but we want to find people that provide things for these people: car dealers, carpet layers, roofers," she says. "Everything that these people might have go wrong in their home or need, they're going to go the people that are supporting their industry and putting that money into the community.

"And then, once a month, we will be having a business after-hours, like normal chambers do, to grow different businesses within the Colorado Springs area."

For now, the different levels of annual membership for those in the cannabis industry cost $295, $2,500 and $5,000 and include weekly newsletters and a monthly magazine. The Florida-based NCCC will also be hosting expos in Colorado and Oregon, and expects to have 10,000 members in marijuana states in the next five years.

It all sounds a bit like what one existing organization, the National Cannabis Industry Association, is already doing. But Sandoval is confident: "It's going to far surpass them, because of the people that are behind it," she says. "We've got a lot of money behind it, so we think it's going to be much bigger and much better." One of those people is NCCC president Michael Miller, a Florida businessman who also has worked with the back-end dispensary system BioTrackTHC.

Schedule change

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a landmark policy statement saying it thinks people under age 21 should not be using marijuana; the plant itself should be decriminalized; and the feds should reschedule the substance from Schedule I (heroin) to Schedule II (meth).

AAP member Seth Ammerman talked to The Wall Street Journal about the organization's thought process: "Unless scheduling changes, [FDA-regulated research] won't happen," the Stanford University professor of pediatrics said. "And there could be therapeutic benefits. The AAP is not opposed to medical marijuana, per se, but we feel it's important that this be explored within the [framework of the] FDA process, where you have standardization."

You can read the full statement at tiny.cc/the3sx.

Learn the leaves

Hit the Cannabis Boot Camp at The Mining Exchange hotel (8 S. Nevada Ave., mmjbusinessacademy.com) on Saturday, Jan. 31, for an all-day seminar on starting your own company. Led by KC Stark, owner of Studio A64, and attorney Charles Houghton, both with the MMJ Business Academy, the event — which includes admission to bonus events on the 31st and Feb. 1 — will cost $299 per person.

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