Cannabis is gaining momentum in Florida as legislators like Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) come out in support of greener policies on the Hill. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), it’s anti-cannabis lawmakers like Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who are hindering major progress in a state that, according to polls, favors medical marijuana.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 80 percent of Floridian voters support a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow medical marijuana. NCIA is hoping to gain momentum in the fight to reform the Sunshine State with the election of Rep. Murphy to the Senate.
In an invitation to possible donors, NCIA recognized Rep. Murphy for his support on banking and tax initiatives with a fundraiser during their conference in California this week. “Rep. Murphy is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Marco Rubio, who has not been supportive of cannabis policy reform. In a closely divided Senate, an additional supporter on our issues could mean major progress,” the trade association said in a statement.
Aaron Smith, President and co-founder of NCIA, is doing everything in his power to legalize cannabis through politics and policy. Featured on the cover of this month’s MG magazine, Aaron and his team represent the interests of the increasing roster of cannabis companies. Along with his Washington, D.C.-based government relations director, Michael Correia, and GR coordinator Michelle Rutter, NCIA is finely attuned to what’s going on in cannabis reform, at the national level.
NCIA focuses on the cannabis industry’s businesses and relays their needs, like banking and amending the tax code, to legislators on the Hill. Just last month, NCIA held their 6th annual lobby days in Washington, D.C. to bring cannabis industry leaders to the hallways of Congress. From cultivation to legal services, NCIA has nearly 1,000 members spanning across 40 states.
Following a successful Lobby Days, their Cannabis Business Summit and Expo takes place in Oakland, California June 20 – 22. The three days of networking, selling, and learning also include an NCIA-PAC fundraiser for Rep. Murphy senatorial campaign. Rep. Murphy will not be at the fundraiser in California. Instead, he’s on the Hill, representing his constituents for upcoming votes.
Murphy has co-sponsored legislation advancing our industry, including The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (H.R. 2076), The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 (H.R. 1940), and The Small Business Tax Equity Act (H.R. 1855), which reforms Section 280E of the tax code.