With the advent of the commercial cannabis market in Colorado and Washington, it is readily apparent that the business of marijuana, which has grown from the black market streets of America into a legitimate and thriving community-oriented industry, is bound only by the limitations designated by the federal government. 

In just seven months, regulated pot commerce has generate millions of dollars in state tax revenue, while destroying ancient marijuana laws that once unjustly imprisoned low-level drug offenders -- proving that legal weed is well on its way to becoming one of the most beneficial industries to the socioeconomic landscape of the United States.

As a contribution to this uprising of statewide cannabis commerce, the marijuana reform organization, NORML has announced the launch of the marijuana industry’s equivalent of the Better Business Bureau -- it is called the NORML Business Network. 

The primary objective of this network, according to NORML’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sabrina Fendrick will be to collaborate “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.”

Establishing high standards during the marijuana industry's infancy is crucial to its credibility and overall development, which is the reason the NORML Business Network intends to operate under immense scrutiny when it comes to its business affiliations. “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.”

Marijuana-related businesses that wish to brandish the seal of NORML Business Partners in their storefronts or on their products “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.”

As the business of marijuana continues to evolve, NORML believes it is essential to establish accountability within the industry and look after the consumer’s interests. “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 Fendrick, adding that the efforts to establish a responsible industry will help sustain it as the market expands nationwide. 

To learn more about the NORML Business Network: http://norml.org/business

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.