National Cannabis Industry Association

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National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)
Type Trade association
Founded 2010
Founder(s) Aaron Smith and Steve Fox
  • Washington, D.C.
Area served United States
Focus(es) Legalization of cannabis in the United States
Commercialization of cannabis sales

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), also known as "Big Pot",[1][2] is an American non-profit organization based in the District of Columbia, with an additional office in Denver, Colorado. NCIA is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only organization representing state-sanctioned cannabis-related businesses at the federal level. Its mission is "to promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and work for a favorable social, economic and legal environment for that industry in the United States."[3] The organization was founded in late 2010 and has been described as the "first national trade group for the cannabis industry" in the United States.[4][5][6]

As the cannabis industry has grown and matured dramatically in recent years, NCIA has grown with it. In January 2013, NCIA had 118 member businesses. In January 2014, NCIA had "nearly 400" member businesses. [7]

The NCIA has been negatively compared to the lobbying arms of the alcohol and tobacco industries, with activists worried that it could harm legalization efforts.[2]


The NCIA promotes a multitude of virtues it sees in the cannabis plant and its trade, including how the plant may help heal the sick, how legalization adds much-needed tax dollars to government coffers on the local, state, and national levels, and how these and other benefits radiate out into communities.[8]

The NCIA lobbies Congress to tax cannabis fairly and to allow cannabis businesses easier access to the banking industry.[9][10]

The trade group's work also extends to the local level; it helps marijuana and medical marijuana businesses navigate a patchwork of laws that differ by state and locality.[11]


As of February 2014, the National Cannabis Industry Association has over 450 member businesses.[12]


In a Huffington Post interview, Mark Kleiman, the "Pot Czar" of Washington state, said he was concerned that the NCIA would favor profits over public health. He also said that it could become a predatory body like the lobbying arms of the tobacco and alcohol industries. Kleiman said: "The fact that the National Cannabis Industry Association has hired itself a K Street suit [lobbyist] is not a good sign."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Mission and Values". National Cannabis Industry Association. 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  4. ^ Warner, Joel (2010-12-01). "Pot lobbying group National Cannabis Industry Assoc. first of its kind, stacked with CO players". Westword. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  5. ^ Tencer, Daniel (2010-12-12). "Move over, Big Pharma and Big Oil, Big Marijuana is here". The Raw Story. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  6. ^ Hotakainen, Rob (2010-12-12). "Marijuana-legalization push gets voice on Capitol Hill". McClatchy DC. Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  7. ^ Niraj Chokshi (2 January 2014). "Marijuana legalization in Colorado reflects a maturing industry". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Goodman, Michelle "An MBA for stoners: Get ready for the next growth industry" Salon November 16, 2013
  9. ^ Saddiqui, Sabrina and Reilly, Ryan J. "Marijuana Industry Lobbies Congress On Taxes" The Huffington Post June 6, 2013
  10. ^ Byron Tau; Rachael Bade (29 January 2014). "Puff, Puff: Pass the tax break". Politico. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Frosch, Dan [1] "New Trade Group’s Focus Will Be Marijuana Industry" The New York Times November 22, 2010
  12. ^ "Members". National Cannabis Industry Association. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 

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