Region: California Cannabis Business Conference
Presenter Spotlight: Andrew Kline of The National Cannabis Industry Association
By Kaisha-Dyan McMillan
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September 30, 2019

Presenter Spotlight: Andrew Kline of The National Cannabis Industry Association


If there’s one conclusion to be drawn by everything from the House of Representatives’ passage of the SAFE Banking Act to the vaping crisis, it’s that the time for federal legalization may have finally reached its tipping point. As part of this year’s California Cannabis Business Conference, NCIA’s Director of Public Policy Andrew Kline will be presenting “The Road Ahead: Public Policy Priorities Post-SAFE Banking and Public Safety Issues,” an educational session centered on where the industry goes from here. 

“We’re going to be discussing the recent vaping crisis and what we know so far about the approximate cause of the deaths and injuries,” Kline said, offering a preview of the session. But as he made clear, the vaping situation sheds much needed light on a broader issue. “In order to fix the problem around the public health crisis, we need to deschedule cannabis, regulate it at the Federal level, and kill the illicit market,” he said. 

As Kline explained, it’s crucial for California cannabis business owners and operators to understand that descheduling, or completely removing cannabis from the drug schedule, is a more effective end to federal prohibition than rescheduling from Schedule 1 to a different drug classification. It’s a position that NCIA’s Policy Council – the cannabis think tank led by Kline that’s comprised of entrepreneurs, general counsels, ancillary businesses, license holders and other industry professionals – have fleshed out in a soon to be released white paper.

“That’s what leads us into the discussion about how we believe it should be regulated once de-scheduling happens,” he said. “We provide jurisdiction to existing federal agencies based upon the products being consumed, and the regulatory charge of the particular agency. For instance, we’re treating intoxicating cannabis products differently than we are pharmaceuticals, and we’re treating pharmaceuticals differently than we are topical lotions containing CBD.”

According to Kline, how we approach federal legalization impacts our ability to address other issues within the industry. “One of the things that comes with descheduling is the ability to fix the social equity issues,” he said. “Until you deschedule, it becomes really hard to do any of that.”

Ultimately, Kline hopes attendees will come away from the discussion with multiple key takeaways. “A better appreciation for the difference between descheduling and rescheduling, and why that’s important for the industry; a better understanding for why we believe that the federal government should have a role in regulating; and a better appreciation of the structure that we’ve developed for that regulatory framework,” he explained.

Be a part of the discussion Wednesday, October 9 during the National Cannabis Industry Association’s 3rd annual California Cannabis Business Conference. Coming to Long Beach October 8, it’s the only association-backed cannabis conference focusing on California’s cannabis industry. Register your spot today!

Register for #CaCannaBizCon

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Kaisha started journaling when she received her first diary at the age of 9. The practice of using words to document thoughts, process feelings, and weave a story was intuitive from the moment she set pen to page.

When considering a niche in 2016, she originally chose cannabis because of her experience taking it for wellness. After taking a weekend seminar at Oaksterdam University to educate herself further, it became clear that her marketing background and writing skills were how she could best help this burgeoning industry. Her favorite cannabis copywriting projects are those that reduce stigma, provide education, and help consumers understand how cannabis could be a viable holistic option for their needs. As a Gen X African-American woman, her journalistic focus is on the women and people of color doing amazing things in the industry, especially in her hometown of Oakland.

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