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Director of Public Policy

Washington DC

Representing nearly 2,000 member-businesses and tens-of-thousands of cannabis professionals, NCIA is leading the charge to protect legal cannabis businesses, defend our state laws, and advance federal policy reforms. Successful businesses are joining NCIA every day to become stronger, smarter, and more prosperous by working together to defend and expand the responsible cannabis industry.

The Director of Public Policy leads the development and execution of NCIA's policy work and is responsible for a coherent and evolving strategy, involving numerous stakeholders. The Director of Public Policy oversees the work of NCIA’s Policy Council, member committees, lobbying firms, and others, as appropriate, on NCIA’s policy priorities. The position evaluates NCIA’s policy progress and the effectiveness of efforts and is accountable for charting a policy course for the cannabis industry.

Core responsibilities:

  • Direct the activities of the NCIA Policy Council, including:
  • the scheduling and facilitation of meetings;
  • Identifying and conducting research on topics of relevance to the emerging legal cannabis industry;
  • producing several policy position papers and in-depth white papers articulating state and federal policy proposals that balance the needs of the emerging cannabis industry with public health and other broad considerations;
  • soliciting input from NCIA Policy Council members and other stakeholders on research topics and policy positions;
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and Government Relations team to define NCIA’s policy focus.
  • Assist NCIA’s fundraising efforts in support of it’s robust public policy and advocacy programs.
  • Influence and partner with policy leaders and stakeholders to define the policy agenda
  • Clearly define policy objectives and processes
  • Lead independent research and policy analysis
  • Remain informed and responsive in strategy and communication to policy developments that impact the industry and on which NCIA should take a leadership position
  • Measure the effectiveness of policy efforts and adapt processes to improve effectiveness
  • Effectively collaborate with Media Relations and Marketing/Content staff to ensure clear and consistent messaging on policy issues
  • Work with outside experts, who will contribute cannabis policy expertise or expertise in a related field.
  • Facilitate one policy working group annually, for the purpose of exploring a selected industry issue in-depth and producing a policy paper on that topic.
  • Help facilitate involvement of Policy Council members in ongoing NCIA lobbying effort and respond to policy-related inquiries from NCIA members, elected officials, regulators, and other stakeholders.
  • Work closely NCIA Member Committees to prioritize and develop content.


  • Graduate degree in policy, public administration, law, or related field
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in nonprofit or public sector
  • In-depth understanding of federal and state legislative processes
  • Advanced project management skills
  • Experience overseeing and conducting research projects and policy analysis
  • Deep commitment to helping to end cannabis prohibition
  • Skilled relationship manager
  • Experience securing partnerships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strategic, tactful, self-aware and authentic leader
  • Entrepreneurial, flexible, creative, energetic, hard-working and unafraid of challenges

The Director of Public Policy is a regular, full-time employee, eligible to participate in NCIA’s benefit plans as they may exist from time to time in accordance with the terms of the plans.

To apply, please send a resume and a one-page cover letter to

In your cover letter, please specify (1) how you learned about NCIA’s job opening; (2) why you are interested in working for NCIA; (3) your stance on U.S. drug policy and the state-legal cannabis industry's role in reform, and, (4) why you think you would excel in this position. Feel free to include any other information you deem relevant, but please limit your cover letter to one page.

The cover letter and resume should be sent as one PDF document with filename that includes the candidate’s first initial and last name.

Promising applicants will receive an email from us requesting more information and possibly a phone interview within approximately one week of receiving the application. Do not call NCIA at this stage.


Posted February 11, 2019

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