We have an opportunity to regulate the cannabis industry from WITHIN or will be subject to others doing it TO the industry. This is the beginning of a multi-billion dollar industry that is only growing larger every year. Many legislators are now trying to regulate this industry for the first time with mixed results. Leslie Bocskor of Electrum Partners, challenged cannabis industry stalwarts and new comers to self-regulate at the NCIA‘s Southwest Summit today.

Regulation Needs

  • Genetics: When you buy a bottle of Malbec, you never wonder if you’re actually getting Malbec grapes. When you buy a strain from a dispensary, you have no guarantee that it is actually the strain its labeled with.
  • Product Integrity & Safety: Ensuring that the potency of your edibles is consistent so that your customers have a safe and predictable experience.
  • Advertising & Marketing: Underage use is the cannabis industry’s number #1 issue that threatening legalization across the country. We cannot afford for product names (Girl Scout Cookies) or packaging (Buddafingers) to be attractive to children.

The Alcohol Industry Invented This Model

The “We ID” campaign you see in liquor stores across the country was not mandated by the federal government. The alcohol industry works to prevent underage drinking–not because it was mandated by the state but because they understand it’s good for their business. Unlike the state-sponsored “lab rat” campaign in Colorado, the cannabis industry could be educating parents on how to talk to their kids about marijuana.

Self-Regulation Done Right

The cannabis industry will need to form their own regulatory bodies funded by membership dues. Yes this will be expensive but being subject to poor regulation will cost a lot more going forward. Take the hints from the alcohol industry and decide to create an industry we can all be proud of. Not only because it makes financial sense but it’s also the right thing to do.