A trade association is a group that is formed and funded by businesses in a particular industry. The groups may also organize various events to raise funds for their operations. Cannabis trade associations operate similar to traditional trade associations.
Cannabis trade associations elect some of their members to become part of the executive team that is in charge of different activities and to promote the association’s interests within a specific industry. In our case, that industry would be cannabis.
The associations set laws for their members and educate them about different issues in their industries. Most cannabis associations operate as not-for-profit organizations. A quick history note, various forms of trade associations started before the 1300s.
Initially, some started as guilds, which trained their members on different issues and certified them. Other forms of trade associated evolved into trade unions. When machines were introduced, the division of labor between business owners and their employees became more pronounced, and workers formed trade associations.
How to Join A Cannabis Trade Association.
The organizations get new members by attending trade shows, their official websites, or emailing individuals in particular industries. Trade associations can recruit new members from the show to help them gain extensive knowledge in the cannabis industry.
When they attend the trade shows, associations provide materials in several forms to help the attendants gain more information about them. A significant percentage of members of trade associations join by signing on websites while others through word of mouth.
In some cases, trade associations compile a list of businesses in a particular industry and emailing them to become new members. For example, if an individual would want to gain more knowledge and networks in their cannabis career, their employers may recommend some associations. Alternatively, they can search the internet and visit the websites of the associations to sign up as new members.
By visiting the website of a trade association, individuals can find more information about their mission and purpose. The websites have application forms that they can fill to become new members. Volunteering is one of the main principles of trade associations. The members volunteer to form committees, developing training programs, and ideas for their groups.
The Main Benefits of joining Cannabis Trade Associations.
Building Networks for a Business.
It is one of the key benefits of joining a cannabis trade association. Any growing business in all industries should aim to build more networks as they will enjoy numerous benefits. The people you know are essential in achieving the growth objectives of your business.
When you become a member of cannabis trade associations, you will have many contacts, clients, and business partners who can help you to move to the next level of your business and become a reputable brand in your industry. The most active members of the associations can build long-term relationships and partnerships with others for mutual benefits.
Cannabis trade associations provide opportunities for like-minded business people to unite, share ideas, strengthen their businesses, find new business opportunities, and other benefits that they would not enjoy without being part of an association. However, trade associations can come with hefty membership fees. You can sign up for the LeafList a peer to peer networking app within the cannabis industry as a networking alternative.
Employees that attend trade shows and other networking events genuinely care about their careers in the industry. Networking in cannabis trade associations also exposes you to many stakeholders in the cannabis industry who will push you out of your comfort zone and gain confidence. The more the events you attend, the more confidence you will gain.
Confidence is vital as it will enable you to speak with other people and make connections will influential people in the cannabis industry. You will also become inspired by talking to the successful business people in the sector. A successful person’s motivation could be the only thing you need to push you to the next level of your business.
Relevant Training and Education.
Education and continuous professional development are crucial for the growth of your business. If your business is already among the most successful in an industry, attending regular training sessions is vital to ensure that you retain the position.
Cannabis trade associations hold regular training and educational events and seminars to equip their members with new ideas that will help them to grow. Peer-to-peer learning is also vital for the growth of a business as members of the associations share their past experiences and knowledge that will help others to grow.
Members of the groups have immediate access to news and the latest developments that can affect a business and the industry as a whole. For example, the associations provide newsletters, regular email updates, and other resources to ensure that all members are aware of the latest developments in the industry.
Markets are dynamic, and all organizations require up to date information to ensure that they make informed decisions. When you join a cannabis trade association, you will have access to the latest market information concerning customer preferences, expectations, and viable opportunities. Members are aware of new opportunities and get adequate information about taking advantage of them.
Provides Forums for Dispute Resolution.
In some cases, businesses may have disputes, and this may have a negative impact on their business operations and growth. One of the roles of cannabis trade associations is promoting healthy relationships between stakeholders in the industry by providing mechanisms for dispute resolution among the members.
For example, some businesses may engage in unfair business practices that may harm the reputation or competitiveness of others. As a result, a dispute may arise between the organizations. Every member of a cannabis trade association is expected to uphold integrity and professionalism in their business. Also, the members are not allowed to engage in activities that may bring the legal cannabis products trade into disrepute.
A list of popular Cannabis Trade Associations
- International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI)
- The International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA)
- Hemp Industries Association® (HIA®)
- The Southern California Coalition
- California Cannabis Industry Association
- The National Cannabis Industry Association
Cannabis Trade Association Memberships Cost
When you join a cannabis trade association, you have higher chances of getting credit from different financial institutions as they can offer references concerning the reputation and creditworthiness of their members.
Finally, the number of cannabis trade associations has been increasing over time. Some of them operate nationally, while others have international roots. Usually, the groups have several levels of membership and the fees applied depends on the level of membership. What does the typical price of membership cost? The annual fees range between $100 and $6,000.