National pot trade group forms; first national convention in Denver

Well, now it’s legitimate. As if there was any doubt, the medical marijuana business has formed a national trade association to lobby for more liberal laws and to help pot-business members navigate the increasingly complex web of rules and regulations.

The first national meet-up of the group will be next month in, naturally … Denver, reports The New York Times this morning.

…Flush with financial clout, and with their eyes on pushing Congress to further loosen laws, medical marijuana industry leaders are forming a national trade association. While there are smaller, local trade groups, organizers around the country say this will be the first business organization working on the national level.

The article, datelined from Denver, makes it clear that The National Cannabis Industry Association means business.

J. B. Woods, a former insurance agent for Allstate who now sells property and product-liability insurance to medical marijuana businesses in Colorado and other states, is one of the 23 board members. Mr. Woods said the industry had grown so quickly and laws had changed so rapidly that it can be difficult for medical marijuana businesses — and the property owners and banks they deal with — to know if they are operating legally.

“A lot of times these dispensaries can make a huge capital investment only to find out that the local municipality changed its rules, and they have to close down,” he said. “You are in an industry that is very complicated, and ultimately it’s about having a source of credible information.”

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About the Author

Scot Kersgaard

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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