Every day the marijuana industry is growing and maturing. The five-year-old National Cannabis Industry Association, the trade group for legal marijuana companies, has employed a pair of Washington lobbying business to push legislation to allow its members more efficient access to financial institutions, the group stated.
The NCIA is currently teamed up with Heather Podesta+ Partners, a Democratic firm, and Jochum Shore and Trossevin, which has a long relationship with Republican lawmakers. Those companies joined the NCIA’s in-house lobbyist, Michael Correia, who has been working with them since back in 2013.
“We’ve gone from simply seeking to have our industry’s issues taken seriously to bipartisan legislation introduced in both chambers,” stated Aaron Smith, the NCIA’s executive director.
Cannabis is still identified as a schedule 1 drug by the federal government, the strictest drug classification. There are four states Washington D.C., Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon which have a marijuana program for adults to use while 19 other states permit marijuana use or medical reasons.
Big Marijuana is working towards better access to the financial system for its 1,000 members, most of whom are put in position where they have to deal in cash because of many financial institutions will not work with them for the worry of getting in trouble with the federal government. Democrats representing Oregon and Colorado both states with legal have welcomed legislation in the House of Senate to immunize banks from cannabis-related offenses.
Lawmakers out of Oregon have as well introduced legislation to give cannabis operators access to the same business tax deduction afforded other businesses. Current tax law does not allow companies involved in “drug trafficking” from those deductions.
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