NCIA created the Allied Associations Program (“AAP”) as a way to facilitate formal cooperation between NCIA and Allied Associations and share resources for the mutual benefit of our respective memberships. The AAP is intended to provide the means for the leaders and staffs of NCIA and Allied Associations to learn from, work with, and support each other.

The ultimate goal of the AAP is to develop closer relationships between NCIA with state, local, and sector-specific trade associations to harness our collective knowledge, and work together to advance the cannabis industry. As the only national trade association for the cannabis industry, NCIA takes responsibility to help those trade associations thrive and be as effective as possible for their memberships. In return, NCIA benefits by gaining a better understanding of the issues that affect different areas. 


Associations who participate in the AAP are considered Allied Associations – cooperating and sharing for mutual benefit. The program is complimentary for Allied Associations in exchange for minimal effort on the part of the association that mostly centers around maintaining open communications, coordination on any federal efforts the association may wish to pursue, and assisting NCIA with some outreach in the association’s area.

NCIA in turn provides the Allied Associations with admittance to its events, association-focused workshops, monthly updates on our work in D.C., exposure on our various communications platforms, community with other trade associations, and much more! Our commitment to the Allied Associations is outlined in the AAP Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), along with what is required of each association, although our goal is to exceed our initial commitments. We’re always open to suggestions on ways to improve the AAP to make the program as beneficial as possible to the Allied Associations.

The AAP is not an exclusive group, but instead is meant to provide an inherent value to whatever associations participate. Associations that participate in the AAP and display the AAP Logo are demonstrating to their members and the public that they go above and beyond to make their associations as effective as possible.

Startup associations are also encouraged to work with NCIA to help build a foundation for success.


The AAP is not an affiliation program and Allied Associations are not considered affiliates, chapters, or subsidiaries of NCIA. (NCIA no longer has any state affiliates but instead now purely works with independent state trade associations through the AAP.) NCIA does not endorse any Allied Association, beyond recognition that it is making the effort to be a good association to its members, nor does NCIA endorse any of the Allied Association’s policies or political positions. Allied Associations do not endorse any of the NCIA’s policy positions unless otherwise explicitly stated by the Allied Association or through any position papers that it may choose to sign upon approval by its board of directors. Allied Associations do not speak on behalf of NCIA, nor does NCIA speak on behalf of any Allied Association.

The AAP is strictly for trade associations and not for nonprofit advocacy-only organizations, for-profit businesses, or social networks. We are happy to collaborate with these types of groups separate from the AAP. Contact Rachel Kurtz to learn how.


We are pleased to offer this complimentary program to any trade association that qualifies under some basic guidelines and signs the Memorandum of Understanding.

  • An Existing Association with:
  1. Operating history of at least one year;
  2. dues-paying membership of at least twenty (20) members;
  3. an elected board of directors;
  4. nonprofit Articles of Incorporation filed with the state in which they operate; and
  5. duly adopted, written bylaws.
  • A Startup Association with:
  1. Operating history of less than one year;
  2. a board of directors, either elected or appointed by the incorporator;
  3. volunteers or staff committed to building the association (in lieu of members);
  4. nonprofit Articles of Incorporation filed with the state in which they operate;
  5. duly adopted, written bylaws; and
  6. a demonstrated need for the association in that particular area – geographic, professional, or issue.

If your association qualifies under one of these, you’ve reviewed the MOU, and you’re interested in becoming an Allied Association, contact Rachel Kurtz. If you are interested in starting a trade association, check out the Incubator Program section below.


NCIA is in the process of developing an incubator program to assist people who want to start trade associations in areas where a need exists. Until that program is fully developed, we are still happy to assist you. If you are interested in starting a trade association that could develop into an Allied Association, contact the AAP program manager, Rachel Kurtz, for more information.