INCBA Pro Bono Committee Presentations

New in 2021, INCBA’s Pro Bono and Advocacy committee is hosting monthly presentations from allied associations around the industry to check in on ways that INCBA members can help those other associations with our valuable pro bono time.

March Meeting – American For Safe Access

On March 3, 2021, the Allied Associations/Pro Bono Committee of INCBA featured a presentation from Dustin McDonald, Interim Policy Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA).Americans for Safe Access is the oldest and largest national organization of patients, caregivers, medical professionals and scientists promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

Mr. McDonald discussed ASA’s “First 100 Campaign” to push for cannabis law reform to be front and center for the new federal administration during its first 100 days in office. The campaign is designed to drive ASA advocates and partners at various Biden-Harris Administration departments and agencies to request their leadership in improving federal policy outcomes for patients. Each month, this committee hosts a presentation from a person representing an advocacy organization in the cannabis space, moderates a discussion regarding any appropriate initiatives, and considers the best way to publicize to our membership pro bono or advocacy opportunities.

February Meeting – Minority Cannabis Business Association

Amber Littlejohn of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) joined us for a wonderful presentation on MCBA and its initiatives, attended by select members of our Governing Board, our Advisory Board, and our Committee Chairs. Among other things, the conversation prompted INCBA’s Leadership to resume discussions around the ripeness of a federal policy working group, the currently active guidance IRS Guidance on non profits and 501(c)6 trade associations in the cannabis industry, and a few additional federal issues.

Additionally, Amber highlighted potential issues for our committees, including opportunities for our Amicus Committee to get involved with state-level attacks on social equity programs, offering material to support our Legislative Advisement committee as we consider state-level regulation, and identifying a set of issues around enforceability of contractual and ordinance-based community reinvestment measures that could prompt a coordinated response from our Leading Issues Committee. Each of these issues will be discussed in the applicable committee meeting, and we thank MCBA for brining these important issues to the forefront of our committee activity.

INCBA Member Opportunities to get involved with MCBA on a Pro Bono Basis

If you are interested in spending some of your valuable and important pro bono time, please consider getting involved in the following initiatives at MCBA by emailing Amber Littlejohn at [email protected]:

  • Policy Drafting – MCBA is currently in the midst of updating and evolving their model policy positions, which include state and municipal level recommendations and model language. If you’d like to get involved in the drafting process, please reach out to Amber with your qualifications, and she will route you to the right place to lend your expertise to the MCBA effort!

  • Equity Applicant Representation & Workshops – MCBA is looking for attorneys that represent equity businesses to offer their time to those in need. San Francisco and Los Angeles both have pro bono programs up and running (reach out to [email protected] to learn more!), but more attorneys in additional jurisdictions are needed. To volunteer your time to 1) be connected with businesses in need, 2) to help create a toolbox of assets that could be used by volunteer attorneys, such as sample agreements or other documentation, to support their work for equity businesses.

Have Your Cannabis-Industry Non-Profit Present to the Committee!

Is your Cannabis Industry Non-Profit Interested in Presenting to Our Pro Bono Committee and listing your initiatives on this page for publicity to the INCBA Membership? If so, email [email protected], and include the following information:

  • Introduction. Please insert a short description of your organization’s current issue(s) and/or legal need(s).

  • Timeliness. Please describe any timing and/or deadline constraints your organization is facing with respect to its current issues and/or legal needs.

  • Synergy with INCBA. Please describe how your organization’s goals mesh with INCBA’s mission.

  • Viability. Please briefly discuss how and why your organization’s current issues and/or legal needs are viable and whether these issues/needs will have an impact in local, state, national and/or international forums.