Story by Michael Hagar
In the early days of cannabis legalization in Washington, four large cannabis advocacy groups existed: the Coalition for Standards & Ethics (CCSE), the Northwest Producers Processors and Retailers Association (NWPPR), the Washington Marijuana Association (WMA), and the Committee for Adult Use and Ethics of Marijuana (CAUSE-M). As the cannabis market grew and evolved it became clear to these organizations that their advocacy efforts would be optimized if they joined forces rather than compete over members and voice. In a response, these non-profit organizations banded together under one roof and officially became The Cannabis Alliance (TCA) in 2015. Over the course of the Imperious Expo + Directory, Cannabiz Journal had the opportunity to talk to members of TCA and we sat in on a public policy panel featuring them, as well.
While visiting their booth, we learned that The Cannabis Alliance consists of individuals, other nonprofits, businesses, government officials, and cannabis advocates from across the industry and all walks of life. The first part of their mission consists of trying to improve the regulatory environment of the cannabis industry through advocacy. The Alliance and its members have formed working relationships with regulatory bodies such as the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board (WSLCB). Their efforts appear to have paid off, considering they’ve already won awards from the North American Hazardous Materials and Management Association, Dope Magazine and CannAwards for their outstanding work in the marijuana industry over the past few years.
The organization is also responsible for the creation and hosting of the Washington Cannabis Summit, which has been sponsored by companies such as WeedTraQR, Honu and Nextec and also featured speakers such as Tommy Chong, Amanda Reiman, Dr. James MacRae and Dr. Suzanne Sisley, MD.
The internal structure of TCA consists of a board of directors, staff, and an advisory board. The current board of directors includes Alex Cooley, Keith Boyce, Jedidiah Haney, Todd Arkley and a number of others. Currently, all board members have interim titles, as they were initially appointed but will be elected democratically in the future. After talking to members of The Alliance at the expo and sitting in on the public policy panel, I believe we only got a glimpse of how influential and present this organization has become. We wish them well in all their future endeavors.
For more information on The Cannabis Alliance, such as how to donate, volunteer to be on a committee, and much more please visit their website at www.thecannabisalliance.us/.