NORML Launches ‘Better Business Bureau’ for the Pot Industry

NORML has been fighting for nearly half a century to replace our nation’s overreaching, under-serving and (by any objective measure) disastrous marijuana laws with a sensible, regulated retail system – and in 2014, real change is finally upon us.  The effective launch of Colorado and Washington State’s new cannabis market is a clear indication that the days of prohibition are numbered.  Marijuana is now a true commercial commodity, and with that comes a new set of standards – the likes of which the industry, and the movement have never seen before.

As a result of the commercialization of this new industry, NORML is pleased to announce the launch of the NORML Business Network, a new initiative seeking to bridge consumer advocacy with the cannabis industry.  The Network will be collaborating with marijuana companies and ancillary businesses that are committed to using their enterprise as a positive example of corporate social responsibility, and a platform for ending marijuana prohibition nationwide.  The NORML Business Network has already partnered with and High Times Magazine to further promote this initiative, and to highlight other members of the NORML Business Network through their various mediums.

The NORML Business Network is a selective, industry focused, membership-based program that advocates for high industry standards, and using business as a force for change.  The Network’s mission is to empower the market early on to become invested in creating a culture of self-regulation, and to encourage entities to adopt a socially conscious corporate model that integrates the interests of their customers and communities into the fabric of their business’ DNA.  Similar to that of the Better Business Bureau, stores or products that carry the NORML Business Partner seal confirms that they are operating a “values-driven” enterprise, and are active supporters of marijuana law reform nationwide.  NORML Business Partners will be required to meet certain criteria, including various market and industry qualifiers such as testing, labeling, environmental sustainability, fair wages, decent pricing and special discounts for certain populations such as seniors and veterans.

The cannabis industry is under more scrutiny than any other developing market has ever been, and it is critical for all stakeholders to remain cognizant of this enduring challenge.  The public as well as lawmakers will be watching closely at how these new policies in Colorado and Washington affect the communities and environments of those states, and beyond their borders.  How retail marijuana unfolds in these early years will determine the future course of legalization nationwide.

As a consumer advocacy nonprofit, NORML is dedicated to identifying and protecting all new and evolving stakeholder interests – while also continuing on the path to legalization nationwide.  The organization recognizes that the implementation of Colorado and Washington State’s commercial retail cannabis market have permanently changed the scope of the consumer advocacy debate, and the NORML Business Network is a natural evolution for the forty-five year old organization. The evolution of this burgeoning industry is creating entirely new legal and logistical challenges, which call for new standards and industry accountability – and NORML will continue to advocate for consumer’s interests under a legal regime.

“We want to recognize the positive impact these marijuana businesses are having on their communities by highlighting those who go above and beyond the letter of the law in an effort to align their economic benefits alongside the interests of their customers and communities,” said Sabrina Fendrick, NORML’s Director of Strategic Partnerships.

The NORML Business Network will promote these good corporate citizens to a national audience, media, elected official and the public safety community, amplifying their work as positive examples of the marijuana industry.  This in turn will help solidify the integrity of legalization as public policy, and ensure the sustainability of the industry as reform takes root nationwide.  For more information visit

15 thoughts

  1. Great idea, NORML. I totally agree with a BBB for the marijuana indusry. It is very much needed. However, I think NORML needs to either call for alcohol – which is much more dangerous than pot – to be regulated to the same extent as marijuana or for marijuana to only be regulated to the extent of alcohol. Of course, with the exception of where it can be used since marijuana smoke could be breathed in by other people at bars or restaurants.

    Alcohol is a drug that kills in many ways. Unlike marijuana, it directly harms organs, kills brain cells, is physically addictive, and can easily be overdosed on. If you drink too much alcohol you can die – if you smoke too much pot you may get a little paranoid, cough some and fall asleep to wake up alive.

    I understand that some voters may not be ready for equivalent regulation, but I believe that we must demand it on principle. Otherwise, we are like the prohibitionists who spread the refer madness lies. If we remain quiet about cannabis being treated like a dangerous substance via extreme regulation, we are badically denying the dangers of alcohol.

    Is there a way to use this BBB to promote similar restrictions? For example, at least allowing home growing (it is legal to make wine or beer at home) and marijuana being sold at any shop that sells alcohol?

    Maybe the BBB could promote cannabis dispenseries giving flyers for liquor shops to display reading: I wish I could sell pot here, since it is safer than alcohol. Support the NORML BBB.

  2. Great Idea. There are Rip Offs in every industry that need to be exposed! Again Gracias, and look out wall street, here comes cannabis!

  3. The Cannabis and Supporting Industries are going to be a revenue generator for this country like no other! The SAFEST WAY TO GENERATE SUCH PROFITS! Way safer than Alcohol, Firearms, Sporting ,NASCAR, and Big Pharma Companies! Revenue the way the Gods wanted!

  4. We cater to the cannabis industry in Colorado for video surveillance requirements. What do we need to do to become a business on your site?

  5. When are we going to see a published list of business or services that discriminate against marijuana users buy forcing mandatory drug testing?Employees are forced to give up their constitutional rights so we can care for our families. How can the marijuana business model succeed when their customers are hindered from supporting a business they believe in? The first person to buy marijuana in Spokane, Washington, Mike Boyer, lost two jobs but then got one job back. Mike got his job back from Trueblue Labor services, but he didn’t get his job back from Kodiak Security Services. The cannabis industry needs security, but perhaps your better business bureau should be public about a security service that discriminates against its employees.

  6. Congratulations NORML, we have graduated to sensible marijuana regulation. Continue the good work and please advocate and reward those institutions and laws that spend revenue on education.

  7. excellent idea on many levels. It will ensure that there will be quality products and a choice of products and information on what different strains can do. this advantage alone will choke out the black market since all those ghetto rats can spit out is some pressed dried out mash of stems that tastes like tree bark.

  8. I am all for the legalization of the cannabis, due to the fact that it will enable people to go back to work that haven’t been able to to for a long time due to chronic pain. However, if the workforce is still going to penalize them for the THC levels what is the use of having cannabis legal? I say that for those that are legal to use the cannabis, it should not be held against them. Applications should now ask if new employees are taking cannabis, and if they have a card for verification for employment. If so, the employee will be held liable for any accidents if injured due to the cannabis if they are hired. Do not hold people back from getting jobs just because they are testing positive, because they will still find ways around the system.

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