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Southern California Coalition Press Release
July 26, 2018
Leading California Cannabis Industry Trade Associations Collaborate to Create Powerful Political Voice and Unify World’s Largest Cannabis Market
Los Angeles – California Growers Association (CalGrowers) and Southern California Coalition (SoCal Coalition) announced a new collaboration aimed at bringing together the Northern and Southern California’s cannabis industries, closing existing educational gaps among regulators and decisions makers at the state, county and city level, and improving cross-communications and political organizing within the cannabis industry. The CalGrowers-SoCal Coalition Collaboration will work to raise awareness around important issues currently hampering small- and medium-sized cannabis businesses’ political voice, influence, innovation, growth and supply chains in the world’s largest cannabis market: California.
“This is a great step towards unifying the cannabis industry in all parts of the state,” said Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer. “We’ve heard the will of the people loud and clear and I am committed to working with my colleagues to seeing a fairly regulated cannabis industry implemented in full. The longer that takes, the more those in the illicit market, who have no interest in ever being regulated, continue to win and be a threat to licensed businesses and our communities, patients and consumers.”
“We have crossed many thresholds over the last two decades, but we have yet to figure out a way to stop the infighting or create a statewide unified political voice that represents everyone who is licensed or is seeking a fair pathway to being licensed in the industry,” said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of California Growers Association. “Regardless of cultural differences with the industry, our members work in an ecosystem that requires us to come together, so we are able to amplify our voice and raise red flags when regulations are harmful to patients, consumers, businesses or lack common sense. This collaboration will help ensure our voice is heard no matter if decision makers are at the state, county or local level.”
By bringing its memberships together, CalGrowers and SoCal Coalition will expand the cannabis industry’s statewide network, reach and influence. Today, the combined organizations represent more than 1,600 members in total, including more than 1,000 growers and cultivators, along with 600+ retailers, manufacturers, lab testers, distributors, delivery services and ancillary businesses. While working across the cannabis industry’s business verticals, the groups will work to: knowledge share and set industry best practices; raise awareness of important issues such as over taxation; and implement fair regulations at the state, county and local level.
“Our memberships have been on the front lines fighting for the legitimacy of our industry at the local and state level for years,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of Southern California Coalition. “While we’re winning on several fronts, our memberships still face a glaring lack of licensing opportunities and protection. There is much more we must accomplish, including addressing over taxation and shifting regulations. Constituents both locally and at the state level have demanded at the ballot box a regulated cannabis industry be implemented. Our collaboration will double down on holding policy makers to that commitment in a timely manner. The voters and policy makers are saying yes to cannabis regulation. With more cohesiveness and as additional members join on, we will be able to see more sensible policies enacted, markets open up and the power of our voice expand.”
The new collaboration not only aims to be the most powerful political voice for the cannabis industry in the state of California, but also to bring the strongest value to its members. In the near future, the CalGrowers-SoCal Collaboration will release: its joint membership levels; a member-only networking portal; joint lobby days; and member-mixer events throughout the state in an effort to promote and encourage more across-state networking and collaboration on key issues.
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