February 26, 2016

NCIA Councils: Focusing on the Issues That Mean Most to You

by Laurence Gration, Director of Development

There is no question all NCIA members and staff work for the overall good of the industry. With an industry as complex as ours, it can be more effective to segment and specialize in order to achieve the goals of both the many and of the few.

Just as the Government Relations team at NCIA concentrate their efforts on lobbying and advocacy in D.C., with the goal of attaining federal policy change for the industry, several member-driven councils have been formed to engage the expertise and passion of those particular individuals and organizations for the overall good of NCIA and the industry.

These NCIA Councils work to gain or retain benefits for members, or to make general changes for the public good. Councils work through advocacy, public campaigns, and even lobbying to make changes in our industry. There are a wide variety of interest groups representing a variety of constituencies.

As the name suggests, these are groups that focus their energy on a single defining issue. The members of the Council are often quite devoted to the issue, and motivated by personal experiences or participation in ongoing social movements. There are a growing number of single-issue interest groups in NCIA.

The first NCIA-Council formed was the Minority Business Council (NCIA-MBC), which has the interest at heart of driving inclusion. Moreover, we resolve to maintain a business-based community that is respectful of all persons despite differences in age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, geographic origin, language, marital status, nationality, philosophical beliefs, race, religion, sexual orientation, military service, socioeconomic status, or previous incarceration (for unjust marijuana offenses).

The Infused Products Council (NCIA-IPC) is focusing in on the edible and topical area of the industry, looking at what can be learned from the existing businesses and regulations, to be shared across the country for the benefit of the consumer and the manufacturer. There is no limitation on the issues here, with the thought that as we progress and delve deeper into the needs of this sector, it may split into differing groups with even more specialized interests. Regulation is the initial key focus, but that will continue to be pushed within the Council to ensure the infused product sector is helping shape its destiny, rather than being driven by irregular regulations from jurisdiction to jurisdiction..

Equally irregular in the industry is the human resources aspect. Whether we talk training, education, recruitment, or pay and benefits, the field is wide open and the rules are, too. The Human Resource Council (NCIA-HRC) has set up shop with the interests of both employees and employers in mind.

Proposed goals of this council are as follows:

  • Establish best practices for HR, Talent Management, and Learning & Development in the cannabis industry
  • Develop a job board for NCIA members
  • Utilize SHRM and other HR/recruiting organizations to help define HR/recruiting expertise
  • Share best practices among members of the HR Council
  • Providing educational materials to help NCIA member businesses better understand how to be compliant with federal and state employment laws
  • Provide guidelines to NCIA members around recruiting and employment practices

We have also been in discussion with members that are interested in councils on cultivation, marketing and advertising, and retail.

Let us know of your interests, and we will make it happen.

For more information, please reach out to NCIA’s Director of Development, Laurence Gration

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