NACB Addresses Widening Trust Gap in U.S. Cannabis With New Program That Evaluates Ancillary Products and Services Companies

PRESS RELEASE

NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliates Will Be Required To Pass An Intensive Vetting Process, Helping Cannabis License Holders, Investors and Financial Institutions Identify Trustworthy Partners

WASHINGTON, DC and DENVER (March 28, 2018) – The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB), the first and only self-regulatory organization (SRO) for U.S. licensed cannabis businesses, has announced the NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliate program, filling a critical need to help its members, investors, financial institutions and the others in the cannabis eco-system identify ancillary products and services companies they can better trust to conduct business.

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Legal cannabis is America’s fastest-growing industry, and thousands of equipment manufacturers and suppliers, consultants, payment solution providers, law firms and other businesses are seeking to sell to or partner with licensed growers, processors and dispensaries. The NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliate program offers these ancillary companies the ability to communicate to license holders – as well as investors, financial institutions and all other business partners – that they have been rigorously vetted by the NACB as operating at the highest standards of ethics and responsibility. According to the NACB, the Blue Ribbon Affiliate program will help bridge an ever-widening trust gap between all of these buyers and sellers.

Companies interested in being recognized as a NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliate can apply at www.nacb.com. The intensive, 28-point evaluation process encompasses both offline analyst and online due diligence elements. They include an online search of adverse and noteworthy risk-relevant information, a review of principals’ background for evidence of improper business practices, a search of the appearance of company owners on government watch lists, reference checks, and additional features. The process is expected to take approximately two weeks, after which the NACB will notify applicants of the result.

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In addition to receiving a distinguishing credential that recognizes their business as a trustworthy partner, NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliates will gain access to the cannabis community through NACB events and promotion, as well as to ongoing expert insights to help grow their business. Created exclusively for Affiliates, the NACB Academy is a customized series of programs that will help them prepare to successfully sell to the cannabis industry. Featuring expert counsel from some of the NACB’s top consultants and business leaders, the Academy will kick off this spring with “Understanding the Cannabis Market,” an online leadership class.

“NACB members, who are among the most compliant licensed cannabis operators, have shared that it has become a serious challenge to determine ancillary business partners that they can trust,” said NACB President Andrew Kline. “At the same time, a large number of ancillary businesses have contacted the NACB seeking ways to differentiate themselves in much the way we are helping our core members. The NACB Blue Ribbon Affiliate program will address both of these asks, and is very much in keeping with our mission to provide tools and services to help the best-of-the-best cannabis companies enhance the value of their business.”

Kline noted that Blue Ribbon Affiliates will not be vetted for the quality of the products and services they deliver. He also emphasized that while the program will help Blue Ribbon Affiliates demonstrate they operate with integrity and in a trustworthy manner, having been vetted as such is no guarantee of future behavior. To that end, Blue Ribbon Affiliates will be required to be re-evaluated on an annual basis.

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About the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB)
The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is the first and only self-regulatory organization for U.S. cannabis, with a mission is to support the compliance, transparency and growth of legal cannabis businesses. Led by a team of government, legal, banking and data security experts, the NACB helps member businesses establish voluntary national standards that demonstrate unerring business and compliance practices to consumers, regulators and financial institutions. The NACB also provides members access to expertise, tools and services that are intended to help them enhance the value of their business and navigate the complex web of constantly shifting regulations they face every day. The NACB is a division of First American Holdings, a technology and business services company. For more information, visit www.NACB.com.

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