Between vacations and time with the family, July’s Quarterly Cannabis Caucus events, and running your business, summer is a jam-packed season. Every year, Congress recesses for the month of August. Traditionally, this time has been used for those Members to leave the Capitol and return home to their districts and meet with constituents and, of course, campaign for re-election. Though this makes August a quiet month in D.C., it’s a great time for you and your colleagues to get involved with the political process, engage with Members of Congress, and educate them on the benefits of a legal, regulated cannabis industry. Here are the top three ways you can get involved in your home state during August recess:
Attend a town hall
Town hall meetings are an excellent way for businesses, local leaders, and representatives of the cannabis movement to communicate with elected officials about issues affecting your community. Make sure you call or check your Representatives’ and Senators’ websites to see if any town halls have been scheduled during August recess. If they aren’t planning on holding one, consider planning a town hall yourself and inviting various elected officials to talk about cannabis policy in your community and on the federal level. Check NCIA’s Facebook page regularly for information about upcoming town hall events in your region.
Invite Members of Congress or their office on a tour of your business
Even though cannabis is arguably more mainstream than it’s ever been, many elected officials still have not had the chance to experience what the responsible and legal cannabis industry looks like with their own eyes. Whether you’re involved with growing, processing, or dispensing cannabis, or operate an ancillary business, a tour with a member of Congress and/or their staff can be eye-opening and educational to them. Reach out to your elected officials’ district office and ask if they would be interested in a tour – their answer may surprise you!
Schedule a meeting with your Member’s district office
August recess means members of Congress are home for an entire month and it is a great opportunity to meet with them and their staff! There are very few things more compelling than a personal story when talking to elected officials, so whether your experience has been with the benefits of medical cannabis, the unfair tax burden of 280E, or the struggle to gain, and keep, access to traditional banking, be sure to schedule an appointment with your district office to tell that story.
Find out who your Representative is and visit their website to see where their district office is located.
We all have a responsibility to educate and engage with elected officials in order to change the perception surrounding cannabis. August recess is the perfect opportunity to get involved with federally elected officials without having to leave home! If you need advice, help, or materials to assist you, remember to contact NCIA’s Government Relations team in Washington, D.C. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.