The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the country’s largest cannabis trade association and industry advocacy organization, officially seated its newly-elected Board of Directors following the association’s member-driven board election.
The election, which concluded in June, brought on three new board members. Mark Passerini is the co-founder of Om of Medicine, a Michigan medical cannabis dispensary that has the distinction of being the only dispensary in the country to partner with a major university via the University of Michigan, and the first board member elected from that state. Michael Steinmetz is the CEO and founder of Flow Kana, one of California’s most innovative companies dedicated to sustainability and empowering small craft cannabis farmers. Taylor West is the former deputy director of NCIA and current senior communications director for COHNNABIS, a full-service brand, marketing, digital, and public relations agency dedicated to the unique needs of the cannabis industry.
A full list of Board members and their bios is available here.
NCIA is also announcing the new Board of Directors Executive Team that will help guide the organization in its continuing federal lobbying efforts and development of valuable resources for the cannabis business community. The Chair is AC Braddock, CEO of cannabis extraction technology company Eden Labs and a recognized thought leader in the cannabis industry, as well as the supporting founder of several cannabis women’s groups. The Vice-chair is Khurshid Khoja, principal of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a boutique business law firm founded in 2012, which represents clientele in California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii from across numerous sectors in the legal cannabis industry, on regulatory, start‐up, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and other commercial and transactional matters. The Treasurer is Kris Krane, the founder and managing partner at 4Front Ventures, a cannabis consulting firm that is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of operations and compliance in the industry. The Secretary and General Counsel to the Board is Henry Wykowski, a San Francisco-based trial attorney representing numerous cannabis dispensaries throughout California in tax matters, including a landmark case which positively impacted cannabis businesses throughout the state.
“My first experience lobbying in D.C. was in 2014 with NCIA and it restored my faith in the power of individual and collective voices in our political system,” said AC Braddock. “This organization represents the very fiber of entrepreneurship and socially responsible small businesses in this country and what we can do when united. I am so looking forward to what we will accomplish in the next few years and beyond.”
“This is likely to be a momentous year for cannabis policy reform at the federal level, with NCIA’s years of advocacy in the Capitol bearing visible fruit in the form of increased congressional and executive branch support on various pieces of critical legislation,” added Khurshid Khoja. “It is a pleasure and an honor to help lead an organization that is the tip of the cannabis industry’s spear in the effort to win federal legalization.”
On top of being the nation’s most established organization lobbying for fair taxation and banking access for the cannabis industry and an end to cannabis prohibition, NCIA is dedicated to ensuring equity in the industry through policy and culture and has established an events scholarship program to promote those values. In addition, the organization will continue producing resources that will be useful for the cannabis industry and policymakers. In conjunction with its members and industry experts, NCIA released publications last week offering recommendations for cannabis testing policy and providing guidance to cannabis businesses for dealing with crisis communications.
“We are proud of our members for getting involved and electing effective and passionate industry leaders to our Board,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “The next year is going to be both exciting and challenging in federal cannabis policy and industry development, and we are lucky to have such dedicated individuals helping us change laws and provide value to our members.”