Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend Lobby Days This Year
By Bethany Moore
April 30, 2019
/ Community

Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend Lobby Days This Year

Will you join us as a united front in Washington, D.C. this year?

Hundreds of cannabis industry professionals from all over the country will descend on Capitol Hill this month for the 9th year in a row for NCIA’s Annual Lobby Days. It’s more important than ever before to make your voice heard and advocate for the federal reforms our industry needs to truly thrive.

Whether it’s access to banking for your business, much-needed federal tax reforms, or some of the many other struggles faced by our industry that could be remedied by congressional action, we need you to tell your stories on Capitol Hill with us on May 21-23.

Here’s our top five reasons for you to register today to join us for this exciting and impactful event this year:

Progress made on SAFE Banking Act

Earlier this spring, we saw historic movement on one of our key pieces of legislation: banking. The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives by some of our champions in Congress – Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Denny Heck (D-WA). Following an historic hearing, the bill received a markup by the House Financial Services Committee and passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in a vote of 45-15. This is important because it is the first time in history that a cannabis banking bill has made its way this far through the legislative process. NCIA vigilantly jumped in to collect and submit the testimonies of dozens of cannabis industry leaders for the hearing.

The momentum continues to grow as the bill now has more than 160 co-sponsors and will likely be debated again in the House soon. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. Join us at Lobby Days to educate and inform even more members of Congress about the struggles our industry faces to get and keep access to financial institutions!

New Attorney General is receptive to state’s rights issues

As the saying goes: out with the old and in with the new! Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is known for his anti-cannabis stance, resigned from the Department of Justice earlier this year, and was replaced by William Bar. During his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Barr expressed his respect for the policies laid out in the Cole Memorandum, issued in 2014, which cannabis companies have relied on to continue doing business in a state-legal, regulated environment. Additionally, he wrote to the committee, “I still believe that the legislative process, rather than administrative guidance, is ultimately the right way to resolve whether and how to legalize marijuana.”

These statements hint at a more reasonable approach to cannabis reform, and the need for NCIA members to make their voices heard in the halls of Congress, particularly those in Congress with influence on the Senate Judiciary Committee and at the Department of Justice.

New members of Congress

Last November, we saw midterm elections bring in a new class of freshman members of Congress. Many of these new faces replaced the old guard of those with long-standing prohibitionist views toward cannabis. Many of them lean more progressive, which means they are more likely to be friendly toward our issues. This infusion of new blood, new minds, and new perspectives in the halls of Congress can work in our favor.

NCIA’s Lobby Days is the best way to get direct access to some of these offices so we can get off on the right foot with them on our issues. Joining us in D.C. means you will inform and educate these new members of Congress on the struggles we face like tax reform, veteran’s medical access, social equity, and of course, the SAFE Banking Act specifically. How many new co-signers can we get on this bill? Let’s find out together.

Meeting 200+ other politically active industry professionals

It’s not a conference — It’s different. There’s no expo floor or panel discussions, just people. And it happens to be some of the most politically engaged leaders of our industry who attend Lobby Days. You’ll rub shoulders and team up with cannabis industry pioneers who have been in the game for years. You’ll learn the “ins and outs” of the Beltway from lobby day veterans who join us every year to advocate for our industry. Hear about it for yourself by watching this re-cap video from last year’s 8th Annual Lobby Days:

Learn how to lobby and take those lessons home

This isn’t our first rodeo, but it might be yours, and that’s okay. Even if you’ve never done citizen lobbying before, NCIA’s government relations team makes it easy by offering trainings before the event, as well as on-site. We’ll give you materials to help you tell your stories including descriptions of our priority legislation, and background information on the offices you’ll be speaking with. And you won’t have to go it alone! We will team you up with a small group of your fellow cannabis industry peers to navigate the halls of Congress together.

Lobby Days with NCIA will empower you to go back to your home state to advocate on the industry’s behalf. You’ll know what to say, how to say it, and what to expect.

Together, we can make a real difference and push our industry past the tipping point. Hundreds of NCIA members have already registered for this event, so what are you waiting for? Register today, schedule your flight, and book your hotel. We can’t wait to see you there.

Register today for NCIA’s 9th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days.


WEBINAR: How to Approach Your Local Government – What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You!

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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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