by Brian Gilbert, Events Manager
The turn of the new year brought with it new challenges and opportunities for the cannabis industry. We were shocked by the rescission of the Cole Memo, but optimistic about our industry’s continued growth and progress over the past few years. Knowing that now – more than ever – the industry needed an opportunity to take unified action at the federal level, NCIA enthusiastically hosted the third year of it’s Quarterly Cannabis Caucus event series and the turn-out was nothing short of inspiring. In the eight nationwide events in January, more than 1,200 cannabis industry professionals took unified action to reform federal cannabis policies by attending Cannabis Caucus events.
In fact, throughout the rest of the Quarter, we smashed attendance records and saw our network mobilize around a national campaign to support the Leahy Amendment in the Senate.
Highlights in Northern California, Southern California, and Pennsylvania
- Returning to Oakland, our guest speaker Lindsay Robinson, Executive Director of California Cannabis Industry Association, provided an in-depth update on the recent launch of adult-use sales across the state plus pending rules and regulations.
- In Newport Beach, Congressman Lou Correa (D – CA, 46th District) addressed our highest attended Quarterly Cannabis Caucus to date, encouraging industry leaders to keep up the pressure and engage with their elected officials in light of rescinding of the Cole Memo.
- We hosted our first-ever event in Pennsylvania with nearly 100 people in attendance.
Highlights in the Midwest, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest
- NCIA returned to Columbus, Ohio, following our inaugural event in July 2017 where our second state affiliate, NCIAO was launched.
- After discontinuing our events in Florida in 2017, we hosted our first event of 2018 in West Palm Beach and saw an incredible turnout of nearly 100 cannabis industry professionals.
- Our newly combined “Pacific Northwest” region returned to the Portland area with guest speaker, Casey Houlihan, the Executive Director of Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association.
Highlights in the Southwest and Colorado
- Our return to the Southwest region saw a record turnout in Las Vegas where we were honored to be joined by Sen. Tick Segerblom (D – NV, District 3) and nearly 100 attendees.
- We concluded the Q1 series with a blowout event at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado, where we saw the largest demonstration of support for our community-building efforts yet with nearly 300 in attendance! In addition to Chuck Smith of Colorado Leads & COO of Dixie Brands, we were joined by Borahm Lee of Break Science, who provided entertainment throughout the event.
NCIA’s Q1 Call to Action
Throughout the month of January we encouraged attendees to participate in an online Call to Action which allowed them to contact their Senators and urge support for the Leahy Amendment, which would ensure that vital medical cannabis protections are included in the appropriations bill. More than 30% of our attendees (378 to be exact) took action to support the Leahy Amendment by using our online advocacy platform. In 2017, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) sponsored the amendment in the Senate, which passed through committee, but we still need your help to get it in the final version of the bill!
The Upcoming Q2 Cannabis Caucus Event Series
We’re excited to announce that registration for our Q2 Cannabis Caucus Events is now open! Join us in new regions and cities for meaningful networking opportunities with industry professionals, policymakers and government officials.
Thank you to our sponsors:
McAllister Garfield, P.C.