The Most Influential Organizations in the Cannabis Industry

Written by

Mell Green

Mell is a cannabis connoisseur who has been published in nearly 50 online publications surrounding cannabis, including Cannabis Industry Association, Analytical Cannabis, Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Plant People, Byrdie, and...

CBD Oracle's Editorial Process
Drug Policy Alliance rally
Advertisement for THCA flower

Within the course of this country’s history, all things cannabis-related have been celebrated, prohibited, criminalized, legalized, and then celebrated again. Unfortunately, this whirlwind of a journey has brought about a lot of distress and injustice, as the cannabis community has seemingly favored white consumers significantly over any consumers of color. Thankfully, today, things are starting to change.

Now, the cannabis community is full of influential, impactful organizations helping both people in cannabis and CBD to get where they deserve to be. From legal rights to more representation to better research, these cannabis organizations are changing how the world perceives this plant each and every day. Here are some of the most influential we’ve seen yet.

RELATED: Most influential people in cannabis

Cannabis Organizations

List of Organizations

  1. American Herbal Products Association
  2. California Cannabis Industry Association
  3. Society of Cannabis Clinicians
  4. American Cannabis Nurses Association
  5. Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
  6. Drug Policy Alliance
  7. Drug Science
  8. European Industrial Hemp Association
  9. Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce
  10. U.S. Hemp Roundtable
  11. Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance
  12. International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute
  13. The Last Prisoner Project
  14. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)
  15. Cannabis Control Commission
  16. Patients Out of Time
  17. Minorities for Medical Marijuana
  18. Minority Cannabis Business Association
  19. Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association
  20. Marijuana Policy Project
  21. National Association of Cannabis Businesses
  22. National Hemp Association
  23. NORML
  24. Realm of Caring
  25. Americans for Safe Access
  26. The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry
  27. National Cannabis Industry Association
  28. Hemp Industries Association
  29. United Cannabis Business Association
  30. US Cannabis Council
  31. Vote Hemp
  32. Weed for Warriors Project
  33. Women Grow

American Herbal Products Association 

The American Herbal Products Association is the self-proclaimed “voice of the herbal products industry.” This organization has been working tirelessly to promote sustainable, responsible trade of these herb-based products (like hemp) to ensure that every person has access to them if needed. In general, the organization’s goal is high-quality herbs for all!

Through their website, you can see all of the advocacy work the organization is doing and various other AHPA resources. These resources can help educate you on the importance of regulated, quality herbal distribution and so much more. Whether you’re interested in learning about proper dispensing practices or just the AHPA’s code of ethics, the American Herbal Products Association has you covered. 

California Cannabis Industry Association

After becoming the first state to legalize medical marijuana, California has always led the pack in terms of cannabis acceptance. And the California Cannabis Industry Association ensures that it stays that way. The CCIA works to guarantee a responsible, ethical, and safe cannabis industry in the state of California. 

The association works with cannabis businesses all across the state to help add to CA’s economy and help the marijuana industry flourish. The CCIA works on both state and local levels, bringing cannabis advocacy and education to the forefront everywhere they go. As one of the most powerful economic forces within the CA cannabis industry, the CCIA is easily one of the most influential organizations in cannabis and CBD.

Society of Cannabis Clinicians

The Society of Cannabis Clinicians is a non-profit organization composed of physicians and other healthcare providers. These fantastic people work every day to spread education and awareness about medical cannabis and the potential benefits it can bring. The Society gets together to discuss cannabis science, new developments, and marijuana safety. 

Along with this, the group focuses on defending the rights of medical professionals to practice or suggest cannabis-based medicine if they believe it could be helpful. The Society also recognizes the barriers that cannabis science faces, and they’re dedicated to removing these hindrances and helping everybody move forward — toward a future of cannabis-based medicine.

American Cannabis Nurses Association

Without nurses, medicine wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is today. That’s precisely why Julia Glick came up with the American Cannabis Nurses Association. The ACNA is a group of nurses and medical professionals interested in endocannabinoid and cannabis science. They’re dedicated to advocating for their patient’s rights to use cannabis if needed, as well as their rights to recommend it. 

As a whole, the ACNA wants to advance cannabis science, education, and research. They believe that cannabis nurses are the way of the future, and they’re devoted to proving that. 

Doctors for Cannabis Regulation

As their name suggests, the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation organization is all about medical professionals supporting cannabis legalization and cannabis-based science. These are groups of people who want, more than anything, to see cannabis science progress in the right direction. This would allow medical professionals to fully embrace the potential therapeutic value of the plant, changing medicine as we know it. 

These doctors are pro-cannabis regulation because they believe it will help reduce illegal cannabis-related activities and reduce the potentially dangerous results that the plant can sometimes bring. Altogether, the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation are all for change.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance is a group focused on eliminating the War on Drugs’ harm. This group understands firsthand the harmful effects of the US’s drug war, and they’re determined to reverse its racially charged effects. The Drug Policy Alliance now works day in and out to ensure people have access to cannabis education, resources, and ways to take action yourself. 

The Drug Policy Alliance is easily one of the most influential organizations the cannabis world has seen yet. And, they show no signs of slowing down any time soon.  

Drug Science is an organization that wants everyday people to be able to access medical and legal information regarding cannabis. One of the group’s main focuses is on cannabis reform, as they urge people to educate themselves and get on the board with the idea. By granting access to various reading materials and other resources, you’ll find practically everything you need to know about medical cannabis on

Behind this impressive organization is Jon Gettman, the former President and National Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — and we’ll talk about them later, too.  

European Industrial Hemp Association

The European Industrial Hemp Association is all about the promotion of hemp farmers and cultivators in the EU. The group wants to craft a single, high-quality common market for hemp-related goods to help boost the industry’s prosperity in the European Union. 

The group understands hemp’s sustainability aspect, and they plan on using its eco-friendly properties to help promote a better vision of hemp in the future. At the European Industrial Hemp Association, it’s far more than just about a business venture — it’s about helping the world. 

Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce

With how popular cannabis is becoming throughout the United States, the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce ensures that any long-term or near-term solutions will ultimately benefit the cannabis industry. There are many opportunities here for abuse by big businesses that don’t know much about cannabis. That’s precisely why the GACC is working.

The GACC works every day to ensure that proper, beneficial legal solutions are brought to those who need them. The organization serves as the group of cannabis experts that we all need to get our facts straight. Because of their impact on industry growth and legality, the GACC is considered one of the most influential organizations in cannabis and CBD today. 

U.S. Hemp Roundtable

US Hemp Roundtable is a group of like-minded companies committed to providing safe, regulated CBD and hemp products to those who need them. Too many companies nowadays produce products that are substandard or just plain harmful. But, the US Hemp Roundtable is dedicated to changing that. 

Along with this, the group works to provide hemp and CBD education to policymakers and political figures to help spread education about the benefits of the plant. They also have ways for you to take action in helping to forward CBD safety and regulation in your area. 

Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance

Over the past few years, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance has helped propel Canada’s hemp industry in ways they’d never imagined. The CHTA are farmers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and so many other people who simply believe in the power and benefit of hemp cultivation. 

Without organizations like the CHTA, our understanding of the hemp plant would be minuscule compared to today. From information about hemp legality to proper processes and manufacturing techniques, the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance is here to give you everything you need to know and more about the hemp plant. 

International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute

Organizations like the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute are dedicated to promoting cannabis science and helping the everyday public understanding just how beneficial this industry can be. The ICCI puts together incredible research opportunities globally, expanding people’s knowledge of the plant itself. 

Over the years, the ICCI has done brilliant work within the cannabis science sphere, and they show no signs of slowing down. As we continue to learn more about cannabis and cannabinoids on a global scale, we’re sure to see even more from this influential organization. 

The Last Prisoner Project

One of the most well-known cannabis organizations in the US is The Last Prisoner Project. During a time where cannabis is becoming legalized in every which way, this group fights to help those who have been incarcerated due to cannabis and those who have been tragically forgotten within the criminal justice system.

This non-profit is wholly dedicated to fighting against criminal injustice while simultaneously re-imagining what “drug reform” actually looks like. The organization has successfully implemented or engaged in critical policy reforms in around 20 states across the country, teaching people from each corner of the US what kinds of effects the War on Drugs continues to have on minority and lower-class citizens. 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

The Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) organization is a bipartisan group of people who believe in better, more regulated approaches in the medical marijuana field. These people understand the benefits of cannabis, but they also understand the potential dangers that marijuana can bring. With this, SAM wants the public to have access to whatever cannabis-related information they want to know. In general, they’re just stating the facts surrounding safe and regulated marijuana consumption.

SAM has an exciting take on cannabis, where they aren’t interested in legalizing, criminalizing, or demonizing the plant whatsoever. They understand that the plant is far more complex than just being legal or illegal, and the group wants the public to get there, too. 

Cannabis Control Commission 

After Massachusetts legalized cannabis, many people came together to ensure that laws, regulations, and promises are upheld. Thus, the Cannabis Control Commission was born. This Commission helps guarantee that the state’s marijuana programs are running as they should and making sure consumers always have access to the cannabis products they need. 

The group works with local Massachusetts residents, making sure any citizen’s concerns are heard and addressed. The Cannabis Control Commission is one of the most influential cannabis organizations that Massachusetts has seen yet, and they continue to work tirelessly every day to ensure both state and resident needs are always met.

Patients Out of Time

For the past 25 years, Patients Out of Time have advocated for proper cannabis research and education. Experts crafted the organization with the mission of bringing legitimate medicinal benefits back into the conversation surrounding cannabis. Over the years, the plant has become a real focus of “drug use” because of its psychoactive properties. Patients Out of Time, however, is dedicated to re-introducing cannabis as a therapeutic practice in the US.

For centuries, people have turned to the marijuana plant for its values and support. Today, nothing has changed, but the conversation has started to shift. Patients Out of Time want to reinstate the use of cannabis as medicine and make the idea commonplace (and comfortable) once again.

Minorities for Medical Marijuana

As we mentioned, the current cannabis space is overwhelmingly filled with white Americans, despite people of all colors enjoying cannabis daily. With 80% of all cannabis businesses owned by white Americans, diversity and minority representation in this industry are more critical than ever. That’s precisely why Minorities for Medical Marijuana was created. 

M4MM is a non-profit organization that works to expand diversity within the medical marijuana sphere. The group’s goal is to spread advocacy, education, and social reform throughout the cannabis community in hopes of one day seeing a more inclusive, diverse industry. And, as their presence continues to spread across the country, it seems as though they’re doing just that.

Minority Cannabis Business Association

As their name suggests, the Minority Cannabis Business Association works with minority cannabis entrepreneurs to ensure they receive the resources and support they need to thrive. As it stands, the cannabis industry is predominately white, and diversity is crucial with cannabis’s racialized past. Thus, groups like the MCBA help create this diversity and allow the cannabis space to feel more welcoming for minorities. 

Thanks to the MCBA, thousands of minority cannabis business owners have had the opportunity to start their own ventures in the marijuana industry. Their ultimate goal is to combat the effects of the War on Drugs and build a better, more inclusive cannabis industry as a whole.

Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association

The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association is the largest and most influential cannabis trade association in Missouri. The group essentially represents Missouri’s voice in terms of cannabis regulation. Each day, they discuss Missouri’s current state of affairs regarding their cannabis programs and learn how they can improve or progress. With this, Missouri is constantly staying ahead of the pack and ensuring its residents are as satisfied as can be.

If you’re a Missouri resident, you can attend one of the association’s many events they hold throughout the month. These events are for open discussions and problem-solving strategies to help the state continue to improve its cannabis industry tenfold.

Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is arguably one of the most influential cannabis legalization organizations the country has seen yet. This group single-handedly worked to legalize cannabis in eight different states across the US. They work to create legalization campaigns in states that are far behind on cannabis regulations. 

The Marijuana Policy Project fights day in and day out to promote cannabis legislation and ballot campaigns so that the country can continue moving in a progressive, less demonized direction. Thanks to the Marijuana Policy Project, so many people in the United States have access to cannabis that they otherwise may not have. As they say, the MPP changes laws.

National Association of Cannabis Businesses

If you have the seal of approval from the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, you know your cannabis business is legitimate. The NACB is an association of qualified cannabis experts who work with cannabis businesses across the US to ensure they are as quality, safe, and trustworthy as they claim. The group visits these businesses and runs evaluations to see if they live up to these standards. If they do, they get the stamp.

Without an organization like the NACB, cannabis businesses wouldn’t be near as regulated as they are today. That could lead to serious potential harm and malpractice, affecting those who just wanted to enjoy their medical cannabis. But, thanks to the NACB, we know who we can trust to buy our favorite products from. 

National Hemp Association

No one quite believes in the hemp industry like the National Hemp Association. The National Hemp Association supports hemp education by educating the public about the plant’s potential benefits, uses, and economic value. Along with this, the group works alongside government officials to amend and progress hemp laws in the United States. 

By developing these professional relationships, the National Hemp Association has made considerable strides in terms of hemp legality and regulation — and not just in the US, either. Their impact has stretched globally, and now places across the world can benefit from the work this association has done. 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

The National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, may be one of the most prominent cannabis organizations in the country. NORML has been working to help reform cannabis laws since 1970, and they show no signs of slowing down. 

Simply put, the organization wishes for equal cannabis legalization across the US and safe and convenient access to cannabis for those who need it. Right now, even though weed has been legalized in many places across the country, the logistics surrounding acquiring safe, high-quality cannabis is so often ignored. NORML works to combat this, all while fighting for justice and spreading accurate information about cannabis that has been long forgotten or misconstrued. Without NORML, our current cannabis laws could be even more antiquated than they already feel. 

Realm of Caring

Realm of Caring is an organization wholly dedicated to cannabis research and legitimizing the benefits of the plant. Through personal research and clinical trials, the group helps spread cannabis education and assists people in understanding that MMJ is a valid form of therapy for some conditions. Realm of Caring has a vast community aspect, helping people feel more comfortable discussing and supporting cannabis use. 

This group partners with various cannabis and CBD companies to help their members find brands they can trust. This, plus all of the resources Realm of Caring offers, provides everyday people with access to all the cannabis information they could need. 

Americans for Safe Access

Behind Americans for Safe Access is a group of cannabis experts that want to ensure researchers have access to cannabis for research and therapeutic benefit. Right now, getting access to cannabis for research in the US isn’t an easy process because of current marijuana classifications.  But, groups like Americans for Safe Access see the hindrance of this, and they’re working tirelessly to gain access to research the way the country needs. 

Americans for Safe Access firmly believe in the plant’s medicinal potential, and they want others to see this, too. The group’s ultimate goal is to have international, federal, and state laws to recognize cannabis use for medicinal purposes. And, while they have quite a ways to go, Americans for Safe Access influence is changing the world of cannabis as we know it. 

The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry

The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry is an organization focused on regulating a safe cannabis extracts market in the UK. The group wants to ensure that residents not only have access to cannabis products but these products are tested, regulated, and triple-checked for safety and quality. The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry wants to provide guidance to its members, spreading the knowledge about better cannabis practices in the UK.

National Cannabis Industry Association

With values surrounding advocacy, education, community, inclusion, and more, the National Cannabis Industry Association is all about unifying people around cannabis. The association educates people through events, news, and other resources about cannabis legalization and science. They believe in the power of numbers, so the bigger the group, the better in the eyes of the NCIA. 

The NCIA also works alongside policymakers in the US to ensure that political leaders have the right, most educated stance on cannabis science and research. By doing this, those in charge of laws across the land better understand the plant’s actual benefits. The group works with cannabis businesses to create an educated community that can progress the country further than we’ve gone before. 

Hemp Industries Association

The Hemp Industries Association has been working within the hemp industry since 1994. For years, the group has believed in the benefits of hemp, helping to educate others about the economic value of cultivating hemp. They work to let the public know about the myriad ways hemp is used these days and the incredible attributes. The Hemp Industries Association advocates for responsible, environmentally sustainable hemp business techniques to help further spread knowledge. 

By becoming a member of the Hemp Industries Association, you have a voice in the world of hemp. 

United Cannabis Business Association

The United Cannabis Business Association advocates for cannabis workers and canna-businesses. The group is currently working on prioritizing COVID-19 vaccines for cannabis workers, as they’ve previously forgotten in this journey. The Association has always advocated for those within the cannabis business sphere, helping to give support where support is needed. 

Through the United Cannabis Business Association, you can track cannabis legislation, join community projects, and stay on top of events and advocacy events. 

US Cannabis Council 

Cannabis experts from all over the world have come together to create the US Cannabis Council. This Council is one of the most diverse groups of people ever to assemble to support cannabis legalization in the US. The group utilizes all of the resources from these incredible members to spread awareness and urge for change within the cannabis industry. The US Cannabis Council’s ultimate goal is to see cannabis legalization on the federal level, as this would be the best option the country has to achieve marijuana equality for all. 

They believe in reforming cannabis policy together — as a collective, educated group. 

Vote Hemp

Vote Hemp wants you to, well, vote for hemp! The group is interested in moving hemp legalization forward, creating better, more all-encompassing regulations than what we have today. Currently, Vote Hemp is working towards changing the legal amount of THC in hemp from 0.3% to 1%, just as one example of this organization’s work. 

Just because hemp is legal on a federal level does not mean that regulations are where they should be. So, Vote Hemp works hard to ensure we get where we need to be as a country regarding hemp acceptance. 

Weed for Warriors Project

Weed for Warriors Project is a brand that works to support veterans on their journeys with medical cannabis. Right now, the relationship between veterans and weed is a complicated one, with the VA not allowing its medical use. However, the Weed for Warriors Project is working to reverse this and spread cannabis education through community-based projects. The group wants to ensure that veterans have access to cannabis the way others do and that there aren’t any stigmas along the way.

The Weed for Warriors Project has so many different resources for you to sift through. No matter what you’re curious about or want to learn more about, the WFWP is there to help. 

Women Grow 

Finally, our last most influential organization in cannabis and CBD is the Women Grow project. Women Grow works with female cannabis business owners to create an empowering, comfortable space for women growers. The group is now the largest national cannabis network for both men and women in the US and Canada, having over 1,000 women-owned businesses. 

Since women control over 85% of consumer spending, why not allow these women to dominate the cannabis space in the same way? That’s exactly what Women Grow aims to do. And, with their incredible impact, they’ve been able to change the lives of female cannabis growers all across the country.