Marijuana industry association hires D.C. firms to step up lobbying efforts
Jul 29, 2015, 1:32pm EDT Updated Jul 30, 2015, 4:00pm EDT
Tina Reed, Staff Reporter
The marijuana industry has some new lobbying help.
The National Cannabis Industry Association just hired D.C.-based firms Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC and Heather Podesta + Partners to represent its interests — which include protecting the rights of the District itself to regulate marijuana — on Capitol Hill.
The top issue on the table for the industry? Fixing rules that bar marijuana businesses from using banks. The NCIA is also supporting legislation that would recognize rights of local jurisdictions, like D.C., to create and regulate their own marijuana laws.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted in support of opening banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses. A similar amendment was passed by the full House of Representatives in 2014. The House has not yet taken up the issue this year.
House Republicans recently supported a budget plan that would prevent legal sales of marijuana in the District until at least 2017, the Washington Post reported.
The D.C.-based NCIA estimates the value of the legalized marijuana industry at nearly $3 billion nationwide and growing.