NEW YORK (June 15, 2017) – The cannabis industry’s first self-regulatory organization (SRO), the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), officially launched today with a mission to support the compliance, transparency and growth of cannabis businesses in the U.S. Led by a team of government, legal, banking and data security experts, the NACB will help member businesses establish voluntary national standards that address critical issues such as advertising and financial integrity.
Founding members of the NACB include major industry operators from across the country: Buds & Roses, Cresco Labs, Etain, Green Dot Labs, Local Product of Colorado, Matrix NV, Mesa Organics, and others. A licensed owner of a cannabis dispensary, grower, or any other ancillary business may apply to become a member at www.NACB.com. The launch of the NACB comes as the industry is experiencing significant growth, with sales of cannabis products nearing $7 billion in 2016 and estimated to reach $50 billion by 2026 (Source: Cowen and Company).
SROs, like FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) in the financial industry, are proven to be a highly effective means of helping to grow industries, reduce regulatory uncertainty, and protect the public. Similar to other SROs, the NACB intends to work with members to create uniform, national standards to ensure its members act responsibly. The NACB also intends to provide members access to expertise, tools and services they are unlikely to access elsewhere that are intended to help them enhance the value of their business and navigate the complex web of constantly shifting regulations they face every day.
The NACB is led by President Andrew Kline, who served as an Assistant US Attorney driving federal enforcement and as a senior advisor to Vice President and then-Senator Joseph Biden.
Kline reports to NACB CEO Joshua Laterman, who began development of the NACB three years ago after a nearly 20-year career as U.S. general counsel of global financial and investment institution Natixis and as general counsel of a portfolio company of Texas Pacific Group.
“The cannabis industry is on a historical growth trajectory that is expected to continue for years to come, but even the most established, well-run businesses recognize that the future favors the prepared,” said Laterman. “As other industries have experienced with their SROs, establishing and committing to voluntary national standards will enable cannabis business owners to demonstrate impeccable business and compliance practices to consumers, regulators, banks and investors. Andrew and the team have every base covered, with proven expertise across federal government, data and analytics, and the cannabis industry.”
Kline said: “To ensure the NACB achieves our mission, we will deliver best-in-class services to help the industry seize its full growth potential, including the development of national standards and access to a group of executives and advisors with deep experience across various highly regulated industries. In addition to access to our team, we plan to offer tools and services that will help our members to grow their businesses, including first-in-class technology.”
Other members of the NACB leadership team include:
Chief Legal Officer Douglas Fischer, who joins NACB after nine years focusing on cannabis law and financial regulation, compliance, and enforcement at law firm Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft;
Chief of Staff Sarah Zimmerman, a Marquette University School of Law adjunct professor and former federal appellate clerk;
Membership Director Ross Robinson, whose 30-year career includes senior executive positions at the YMCA and the World Federation of Hemophilia;
Chief Marketing Officer Ken Hanson, an award-winning brand strategist and co-founder of national marketing agency Hanson Dodge;
Chief Technology Officer Navin Narayanan, who draws on an extensive background building electronic data interchanges in healthcare and finance; and
Chief Communications Officer Howard Schacter, a former Adweek Marketer of the Year.
The NACB’s Team of Advisors includes:
Ean Seeb, a National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) board member and Policy Council committee member, and co-founder of Denver Relief Consulting and one of Colorado’s earliest medical cannabis operations, who will serve as the NACB’s Colorado state ambassador;
Adam Orens, a nationally recognized cannabis economics expert and co-founder of Marijuana Policy Group;
Malik Burnett, M.D., a public health and cannabis policy expert, who co-chaired the successful campaign to legalize cannabis in Washington, D.C.;
Kristen Yoder, a California-based cannabis insider who has worked across every facet of the industry;
Jill Schmitz, a Colorado-based compliance advisor; and
Parthib Srivathsan, a business consultant who has helped to grow over 100 early stage businesses.
In addition to helping establish national standards, NACB membership will ultimately benefit from a proprietary, best-in-class and ultra-secure technology platform the NACB is developing. The platform, powered by an IBM infrastructure, will help make real-time compliance easier for members. Additionally, by providing an auditable data trail, it will demonstrate the transparency banks and investors require in order to conduct business with the cannabis industry. The platform is expected to be introduced later this year, and will enable members to build a record that confirms their compliance and financial integrity.
According to Kline, the NACB will collaborate with industry leaders, beginning with the acceptance of a seat on the Policy Council of the NCIA.
Kline said: “The NCIA has done an incredible job galvanizing the cannabis industry and working to increase its viability through lobbying efforts. We’re really excited to participate on the Policy Council and will continue to support NCIA’s important work, as the NACB delivers on our mission to develop and enforce national standards.”
CEO Amy K. Peckham of Etain, a founding member of the NACB, said: “Etain is proud to become a founding member of the NACB. The standards we will establish with the NACB will allow us to achieve the transparency this industry needs to become legitimately recognized for the contributions cannabis has to offer to our society and economies in a responsible and thoughtful way. By incorporating a cutting edge technology platform, member companies will have access to a vital resource to help expand our businesses.”
More information about NACB and an application for membership are available at www.NACB.com.
About the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)
The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is the only self-regulatory organization whose mission is to support the compliance, transparency and growth of legal cannabis businesses in the U.S. Led by a team of government, legal, banking and data security experts, the NACB helps member businesses establish voluntary national standards that demonstrate unerring business and compliance practices to consumers, regulators, and financial institutions. The NACB also provides members access to expertise, tools and services that are intended to help them enhance the value of their business and navigate the complex web of constantly shifting regulations they face every day. The NACB is a division of First American Holdings, a technology and business services company. For more information, visit www.NACB.com.
This communication is not an offer to sell or solicit offers to purchase any security or interest in the NACB or any of its affiliates.