Three Things Regulators and Policymakers Can Do to Undercut Criminal Markets and Support Legal Main Street Cannabis Businesses

Prepared by NCIA

The simple truth is that regulated cannabis markets are not working for the vast majority of small businesses, including equity businesses.

Regulators increasingly understand that these businesses are struggling, but face the daunting challenge of knowing where to start with the many, many, many voices calling for attention. Of course, regulators are also wary of accepting a rescue plan for Main Street businesses from lobbyists exclusively paid for by the handful of large Wall Street backed businesses that can afford such slick-talking representatives.

Providing a credible voice for those Main Street businesses is at the core of NCIA’s mission.

As a result, our Policy Co-Chairs Khurshid Khoja and Michael Cooper recently traveled to the annual external stakeholders meeting of the Cannabis Regulators Association (better known as CANNRA), where they were invited back to address state and local cannabis regulators from across the country. Michael and Khurshid spoke on issues of crucial importance to the future of the industry, including the challenges facing small businesses, the successes and failures of social equity programs, the potential pitfalls of rescheduling without addressing FDA oversight in advance, and establishing a level playing field between state-licensed cannabis businesses that provide highly regulated delta-9 THC marijuana products, and unregulated actors that provide equivalent products with equally potent, psychotropic and/or chemically analogous cannabinoids derived from hemp.

Regulators were clear at the meeting that they need more credible, tangible solutions for the challenges facing these markets, and they wanted to hear directly from the nation’s oldest, largest and still most representative non-profit trade association for the regulated cannabis industry.

Today, NCIA is proud to offer the first of a series of policy papers that offer specific steps that regulators and policymakers across the nation can take to help these struggling markets.

Want to help NCIA fix the challenges you’re facing? Existing members are encouraged to contact us at to provide feedback or learn how you can get involved with this project. Not a member? No problem. Sign up here, and roll up your sleeves to join the fight.

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NCIA is leading the cannabis industry's unified and coordinated campaign to ensure our business sector is treated fairly and has the opportunity to reach its full potential. Now - more than ever - is the time to invest in your business and the future of the industry by becoming a member.

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