WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The marijuana industry is forming a national trade group, undeterred by the failure of a legalization vote in California, organizers say.
The National Cannabis Industry Association will unite sellers, growers and manufacturers to lobby Congress, executive director Aaron Smith told the McClatchy Washington Bureau.
"Our intent is to be the go-to organization in Washington for this industry," said Smith, who has been California director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
The association's first goal is to repeal a federal law that bans marijuana use even if states have legalized it. This has spawned confusion with overlapping jurisdictions, Smith said.
"Coming out of California and expanding into this national field is pretty exciting," he said. "It's pretty clear that the medical marijuana industry is becoming recognized more and more by the mainstream as a fully legitimate part of the economy."
Despite the legalization defeat in California, he said, "It didn't happen in 2010, but it's likely to happen in 2012."
On Wednesday, the U.S. House approved 400-4 a resolution that calls on authorities to crack down on people cultivating marijuana on federal lands.