Oregon: Cannabis Industry Organisations Announce Merger

Here’s their press release that just came over the wires

We are proud to announce that, in a landmark move to fortify the foundation of Oregon’s cannabis industry, the boards of the state’s two leading cannabis trade associations—the Oregon Cannabis Association (OCA) and the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon (CIAO)—have unanimously voted to merge, effective immediately.

A Unified Front for a Thriving Future:

The merger signifies a united front for the Oregon cannabis industry, blending the strengths and expertise of both organizations to create the strongest force for advocacy Oregon’s cannabis industry has seen.

According to Mike Getlin, CIAO’s Board Chair, “This merger makes a clear statement that the industry can, must, and will stand as one. We are proud to stand beside our colleagues from the OCA and look forward to working for a better future for all Oregon cannabis businesses and employees.”

Hunter Neubauer, President of OCA, added, “With this merger, we embark on a journey that strengthens our ability to advocate for a thriving, safe, and respected legal cannabis industry. Together, we will champion changes our industry deserves, from modernized regulations to social equity and a stable licensure system.”

Key Points of the Merger: 

1. Strength in Unity: The merger positions the new organization to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, both at the state and federal levels, especially in regard to anticipated changes in federal marijuana regulations. 

2. Member-Driven Focus: The merged entity will continue to be a member-driven organization, championing the interests of cannabis businesses of all license types and sizes, from micro-tier farms to vertically integrated brands. 

3. Commitment to Service: The organization is committed to providing high-level service to its members, offering regulatory expertise, networking opportunities, and the most effective lobbying team in Oregon, amplifying our members’ voices in advocating for smarter cannabis policies. 

4. Representation for All: The merger ensures that CIAO has the resources to represent all sectors of the industry passionately and effectively, ensuring a diverse and inclusive approach to policy advocacy.

As the cannabis industry faces a dynamic landscape with potential federal changes, the merger comes at a crucial time, providing a unified front to address the rapidly evolving needs of Oregon’s cannabis businesses.

About the Oregon Cannabis Association (OCA):

Established in 2014, the Oregon Cannabis Association has been a beacon for community organizing, licensee support, and public policy advocacy. With a diverse and influential membership base, OCA has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape for Oregon’s cannabis businesses.

About the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon (CIAO):

Formed in 2022 through the merger of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, the Oregon Industry Progress Association, and FARMS Inc., CIAO boasts a robust public policy team that has been instrumental in shaping cannabis legislation since 2015. Representing over 500 member businesses statewide, CIAO is a powerful advocate for the industry.

Merger Details for Members:

Organizational Name & Branding: Moving forward we will organize under the CIAO brand and over the next two months all the branding and digital resources will convert over.

Membership: All existing memberships in both organizations will automatically transfer and continue uninterrupted.

Organizational Board: The board will be made up of licensees from both organizations.

Organizational Staff: Jesse Bontecou is staying put and will continue to be the Executive Director of the Organization.  Moving forward he will be the primary contact for all members (OCA & CIAO). Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to him with any questions, concerns, or ideas.

Upcoming Organizational Events: All OCA and CIAO members are invited to attend all of the upcoming organizational events.

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