Step Inside NCIA’s In-Person Events of 2023: An Exclusive Recap
/ Community
/ Education

Step Inside NCIA’s In-Person Events of 2023: An Exclusive Recap

NCIA is thrilled to have brought back our highly anticipated in-person events during the first half of 2023. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the over 1200 members and supporters from 400+ companies who joined us on the road from January to May. Together, we experienced 10 Industry Socials, the revival of our renowned Cannabis Caucuses, the launch of social equity-focused workshops, and, of course, our 11th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days. Join us as we reflect on the past five months, relive the excitement, and share the key moments from these events that fostered community building, provided education, and advanced our advocacy efforts.

Our event schedule took us to several prominent cities in both established and emerging markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Boston, Miami, Portland, OR, New York, Chicago, and Detroit, where we hosted our Industry Socials. These events served as a catalyst for bringing together local cannabis communities, providing them with a platform to network and reconnect with our dedicated NCIA staff and sponsors in a relaxed and informal setting. Besides fostering networking, these events provided attendees with the opportunity to meet and learn from our local Allied Association Program members and regulatory representatives, including MoCannTrade, The Cannabis Alliance, the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon, and the New York Office of Cannabis Management.

During our event in Missouri, Andrew Mullins and Melissa Khan from MOCannTrade provided valuable insights into the recent implementation of legalization in the state. They shared details about the issuance of over 400 licenses, including those for Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities, Dispensaries, Testing Labs, and Certified Transporters as well as talked about the yet to be issued Microbusiness Facility Licenses. They also highlighted the historic tax revenue generated during the opening weekend of sales, which amounted to an impressive $12.6 million.

In Washington, Burl Bryson, Executive Director at The Cannabis Alliance, discussed the recent passage of S.B. 5546 in the Senate. Although the bill, aimed at establishing a Washington state cannabis commission, faced challenges in the Appropriations Committee in early April, we encourage you to explore the provided resources, including an Issue Brief, FAQ, and Webinar Wednesday, to gain a deeper understanding of the commission’s purpose.

Photo Credit: The Hood Collective

In April, Jesse Bonteceau of The Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon highlighted recent developments surrounding new testing regulations proposed by the OLCC, specifically regarding Aspergillus. Jesse also shed light on the regional industry coalition’s strategy to address this situation. Emphasizing the importance of engaging in both regional and national advocacy efforts, Jesse shared ORCA’s participation in NCIA’s 9th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days and encouraged attendees to join both associations to ensure our collective efforts continue to make an impact.

At our New York Industry Social, Axel Bernabe, the Chief of Staff & Senior Policy Director for New York’s Office of Cannabis Management, discussed the rapid growth of the regulatory office, which now boasts a dedicated team of over 250 employees. Axel also shared updates on the issuance of Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses, marking a significant milestone for legal adult-use cannabis sales in New York State. He also addressed the efforts to combat unregulated cannabis sales, which undermine the legal businesses in the state.

Following a three-year hiatus, we hosted an unforgettable Cannabis Caucus in Denver, in collaboration with the Marijuana Industry Group. The event, attended by over 200 participants, took place at the Chambers Grant Salon space in the prestigious Ellie Caulkins Opera House. It featured a video address by Governor Jared Polis, an in-depth discussion on the regional industry landscape by the Marijuana Industry Group, and a federal policy update by NCIA CEO Aaron Smith. These elements collectively reinforced the necessity of actively safeguarding our industry in 2023. For further details about this event, please read more here, and watch Governor Polis’ address here.

In addition to our dynamic schedule of Industry Socials and Cannabis Caucuses, we launched satellite workshops tailored exclusively to social equity applicants and operators in four cities: Chicago, Detroit, Jersey City, and New York. These workshops, part of NCIA’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion program, aimed to provide an immersive learning and networking experience, empowering social equity applicants and operators to strengthen their position in the industry. To delve deeper into these workshops, we invite you to learn more here.

While we celebrate the successful return of these events, the true measure of their impact lies in the testimonials of those who attended. We invite you to read firsthand accounts from the individuals who participated and benefited from connecting with fellow professionals in the cannabis industry.

“I had great conversations with many people from all different areas of the cannabis industry; from seed (or tissue cloning in this case) to sale as they say.”

“I was able to learn more about the industry from the perspective of operators that are at different stages of the cannabis supply chain. Thank you for an amazing event!”

“I made a connection for our product in regular agriculture in addition to cannabis. The quality of the people and the connections made was top tier.”

“Everyone was actively networking which was great. Great venue, food, service and lots of attendees. Best event I have been to post-Covid.”

“I was able to meet new contacts and reconnect with people I haven’t seen in awhile. These events always help me put things in perspective and realize collectively we share similar ups and downs. It’s also important to learn what’s on the horizon for the industry and that our work is pushing the movement forward.”

“I reconnected with multiple folks I hadn’t seen in a while and met many new contacts I’m looking forward to building relationships with. Industry knowledge is so helpful in my line of work and I appreciate the talks.”

Lastly, we culminated our event schedule with the 11th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days in D.C. Over 100 members joined us for this pivotal event, where our dedicated Government Relations team effectively organized attendees into 20+ teams, engaging in over 150 meetings with congressional offices over three days. Through the generous financial support of TILT Holdings and Evergreen Market, NCIA sponsored the travel expenses for four Social Equity advocates, ensuring diverse voices were represented within our delegation.

In addition to the many congressional meetings that took place, our staff organized a briefing for Senate staff on the SAFE Banking Act. Esteemed industry leaders, including Chris Jackson, NCIA Board Vice-Chair & Michigan-based cannabis operator and social equity leader, Monica Gray-Fong, NCIA Board Member & COO of California-based licensed cannabis distribution and delivery service, Nice Guys Inc., Kirk Fredrickson, CEO of 2Accept, a leading payment processor serving the cannabis industry, and Adam Crabtree, Founder & CEO of NCS Analytics, a prominent data analysis firm serving cannabis regulators, shared their experience and expertise during this informative session. You can view the entire briefing here.

During our time in D.C., we also had the distinct honor of recognizing Khurshid Khoja, Principal of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, with the prestigious inaugural Steve Fox Excellence in Advocacy Award. This award recognizes Khurshid’s unwavering dedication to federal policy reform, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation for his significant contributions throughout the years. Congratulations, Khurshid, on this well-deserved recognition!

Looking ahead, we encourage you to mark your calendars for the upcoming 12th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days, scheduled to take place from May 14-16, 2024. Join us as we continue to drive the cannabis industry forward through collaboration, advocacy, and a shared vision for a prosperous future.

Our events would not have been possible without the generous support of our 20+ sponsoring member businesses. We extend our deepest gratitude to these companies for their unwavering commitment to our cause, which played a vital role in the success of these events:

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors
CannDelta Cannabis Consulting & Licensing
KRD Risk Management Consulting & Insurance Group, LLC
Bernstein IP
MACH Technologies
Rocky Mountain Reagents

Advocate Sponsors
Jeffrey Hoffman & Associates PLLC
420 Accounting Services
Analytical Cannabis
Coast Cannabis Co
Dao Mastery
DOPE CFO Certified Advisors
S2S Insurance Specialists
Verde Insurance Services

Host Sponsors
Cannabis Counsel
Benzinga Capital Cannabis Conference

Allied Association Partners
Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon
Missouri Cannabis Trade Association
The Cannabis Alliance
Marijuana Industry Group

Social Equity Delegation Sponsors
TILT Holdings
Evergreen Market

Are you seeking unparalleled B2B connections within the cannabis industry and fostering strong ties with the NCIA community? Look no further. Take the next step and contact us today to explore sponsorship opportunities with us.

As we continue to champion a thriving and inclusive cannabis industry, sign up for our newsletters to stay tuned for future updates and opportunities. Together, we will pave the way for lasting success. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!

The Equity Workshop Tour: Impactful Conversations with Regulators

Join the movement

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.

This site uses cookies. By using this site or closing this notice, you agree to the use of cookies and our privacy policy.