By Dan Frosch, The New York Times - Tuesday, November 23 2010
Steve DeAngelo, founded a marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif., and is on the board of an industry trade group. It is being called the green rush. With more states moving to legalize medical marijuana, the business of growing and dispensing it is booming, even as much of the rest of the economy struggles.Is this good or bad news? Will the big boys of the cannabis industry monopolize and create barriers to enter the market? Will they protect patients or their bottom line? Strange to see three top members of MPP leading this new organization? Isn't that kind of a conflict of interest representing patients and then the businesses and their trade group that could monopolize and price control the medicine? NORML represents cannabis consumers. Who does MPP represent? Medical patients, cannabis consumers and the businesses that serve them?
Now, flush with financial clout, and with their eyes on pushing Congress to further loosen laws, medical marijuana industry leaders are forming a national trade association. While there are smaller, local trade groups, organizers around the country say this will be the first business organization working on the national level.
Based in Washington, the group, the National Cannabis Industry Association, will focus primarily on lobbying, but will also help medical marijuana businesses navigate a patchwork of laws that differ depending on location.