NCIA Team Discuss 2018 Progress and Mid-Term Election Results

NCIA’s Aaron Smith, Michelle Rutter, and Bethany Moore discuss important highlights for cannabis policy reform in 2017 and 2018, and analyze the results of the midterm election. Aaron Smith is co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the largest trade association representing legal cannabis businesses in the U.S and the only one working to advance the industry on a national level. Prior to launching NCIA, Aaron distinguished himself as a public advocate for marijuana policy reform — first under the auspices of a California-based medical cannabis advocacy group, Safe Access Now in 2005, and then as the California state policy director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project until founding NCIA in 2010. Aaron has successfully built coalitions with elected officials on both sides of the aisle in order to advance marijuana law reform legislation.

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Michelle Rutter is government relations manager for the National Cannabis Industry Association. Prior to working for NCIA, Michelle was a research analyst at a government affairs firm in Washington, D.C., where she analyzed and tracked legislation on numerous issues. Michelle graduated from James Madison University in 2012, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in History. During her studies, she held a year-long internship with Virginia House of Delegates member Tony Wilt (R). There, she communicated with constituents, businesses, and government officials alike, facilitating meaningful conversations. Michelle was also a member of a pre-law fraternity where she planned events and hosted social functions that sought to encourage long-lasting professional and personal relationships with members. They all speak about some of the major items that we’ve come across in the last two years for cannabis reform in the midst of this mid-term elections.