Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More marijuana business lobbyists

Over at Cannabis Wire, they have been tracking the development of marijuana business groups and their hiring of lobbyists.  Here's the latest:

On Monday, we posted on the formation of the Northwest Producers and Processors Association (NWPAPA), and their lobbyist hire. The NWPAPA spokesperson and lobbyist commented that they see the state’s craft beer industry as “a good model” for cannabis retail business.

In December, the Cannabis Business Group (CBG) was formed and the first registered lobbyist was hired to work on I-502 implementation. Today the paperwork is complete, the mission is set, and CBG has announced they are ready to represent a broad base of producers, processors and retailers of MMJ. The group sees tremendous industry opportunity under recreational use regulations.

Although focused on public policy affecting patients and their use of cannabis, the eighteen month old Cannabis Coalition for Standards and Ethics (CCSE), is not shy about working the legislative and regulatory process hard. CCSE has established an open channel with the LCB, and informally is sought out as an experienced resource of growers, processors and users.

Here is an excerpt from a letter that the newly-formed Cannabis Business Group sent out:   We are proud to announce the formation of The Cannabis Business Group (CBG) for cannabis business professionals seeking to operate as I-502 producers, processors, and retailers. We would like to invite you to join the CBG to help cultivate (pun intended) the future of cannabis here in Washington and, eventually, on a national scale. We want to work with you to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new cannabis industry based on meaningful and intelligent regulations that we can help mold.

It remains to be seen if marijuana business lobbyists will work with the substance abuse prevention community to ensure that "meaningful and intelligent regulations" include those that will keep marijuana out of the hands of minors.  This is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for creating a marijuana industry that is tightly regulated so that only adults will have increased access to marijuana.  This is the opportunity for public health and safety advocates to be in on the ground floor influencing policy making for an industry that could have serious affects on youth health and development. 

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