Two major cannabis industry trade associations of Arkansas have reportedly merged to form a single organization, collectively creating a unified voice for cannabis advocacy and education. The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association and Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association formed a merged entity effective immediately, cite reports.
As per trusted sources, the merged entity will be known as ACIA and will be led by a 12-member board comprising representatives from licensed producers, dispensaries, and other cannabis businesses. Reportedly, the merger puts together the leadership and expertise of the most active individuals and businesses in Arkansas’ cannabis industry. The merger is set to make the groups more robust and effective through legislative advocacy, member recruitment, and public education.
Robert deBin, President of Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association’s Board of Directors said that it is high time for factions in the cannabis industry to come together on behalf of the physicians and businesses committed to making medicinal cannabis a reality in Arkansas.
He further stated that the groups must be inclusive and united as they enter 2019 with continued challenges. With tens of thousands of patients in need of cannabis to treat their medical condition, the groups need to continue spreading the awareness of benefits associated with cannabis among policymakers and the general public, deBin added.
According to sources familiar with the matter, members of both the organizations are now members of ACIA, under the merger agreement between the two entities. The benefits associated with the merger will remain the same including legislative and policy advocacy, marketing opportunities, cooperative advertising, and special events and networking.
Dr. Regina Thurman of Fayetteville and former Chairwoman of AMMA was quoted saying that both the groups pursue similar goals of legislative action, doctor education, and patient engagement.
The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association is dedicated to remaining on the front lines at the Capitol and in communities throughout the state to promote and raise awareness about the benefits of the industry, claimed sources.