The medical marijuana industry is going big time in Washington: It now has a lobbying group.

When Congress reconvenes next year, the National Cannabis Industry Association will be up and running in Washington, D.C.

The New York Times featured the new group in a story this week that shows how the medical marijuana industry is thriving while the rest of the economy struggles. According to the Times' story, the organization will lobby Congress and policymakers for pro-pot legislation and help the industry “navigate a patchwork of laws that differ depending on location.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association is reported to be the first trade association of its kind in Washington. It will be worth watching the organization in coming years as legalization campaigns like the ones we saw for California Proposition 19 are expected to keep coming. The question is: What side will the trade group be on? They certainly don’t think marijuana is bad, but they likely have an interest in keeping it legal.

What is known is that those working for the new medical marijuana trade group see the industry is on the brink of big things. “This is an industry in its infancy,” Bob Selan, a board member said in the Times' story. “But it is an industry now.” It will officially launch at a convention in Denver in December.

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