About Fiona Ma: The Future of the Cannabis Industry
Now more than ever, the political climate in the US has seen a major shift in ideals and values. My pre-conceived notions of the politicians who tweet slander directed at other world leaders, who participate in shady under-the-table deals, and who are essentially puppets to the 1% deterred me, and others, from overly supporting one candidate or another. That is until I learned about Fiona Ma’s campaign and her efforts toward cannabis reform.
Fiona Ma is known for supporting cannabis banking and fighting for lowering taxes on cannabis products. One of the biggest problems in the industry (and this was later confirmed by the guests I spoke to at her reception in Sacramento) is banking. Another big problem is the decline in sales after the new taxes were implemented in January of 2018. The collective goal of the industry is to be able to be held to the same standard as other small businesses. This means being granted the ability to open a bank account easily. This means reasonable taxes that shop owners’ customers can afford.
The people who I met at the reception were mostly small cannabis business owners. While each person and associated brand had their own style, products, and strategy, they all seemed to share similar issues. Banking and taxes. This was clearly the pink elephant in the room when it comes to business owners in the cannabis industry.
The cannabis business owners from all around Sacramento were so excited about Fiona Ma potentially winning State Treasurer because of her impact on the industry and on society as a whole. Not only would cannabis banking and lowering taxes solve the problems that business owners and consumers face daily, but it would vastly de-stigmatize cannabis in general. This will create a culture in which cannabis isn’t so difficult to access for medical patients and recreational users alike. The fact that all of these hard working business owners all came together under the support of Fiona Ma speaks tremendously about what she stands for.
When I met officially met Fiona Ma at that reception, not only was she extremely easy to talk to, but it was evident that she really did care about the problems that cannabis businesses face. She was well-versed, sharp, and passionate about the same issues that we are plagued with in the industry. She really understood what was holding our businesses back.
During her speech, she gave us some insight into how she started getting involved and how she became the President of the Asian Business Association at 28 years old. “My passion and my start in public service,” Ma shares, “Is really advocating for women and minorities’ small businesses.”
As her speech continued, she began to divulge into her thoughts about the cannabis industry. She acknowledged that we people who are just trying to help others but aren’t getting the same opportunities as other small businesses. “And it turned out that the big elephant in the room was banking,” Ma reveals that she came to the same conclusion as the rest of us, “The fact that this industry cannot open up a bank account easily.”
To be validated by someone who has so much power in politics was overwhelming. Because of cannabis’s taboo past, most people in power don’t want to touch this industry. But Fiona Ma is fearless.
There’s a reason why small business owners all around California are rallying behind Fiona Ma and her efforts. It almost feels wrong to call her a politician, when she really is looking to serve the public. It’s clear she’s set on doing what’s best for all of California, and not just the 1%, much like other politician’s interests.
The event was hosted by the Sacramento Cannabis Industry Association (SCIA) whose primary objective is to unite and empower Sacramento’s cannabis industry. With pillars like being heard, being represented, and being protected, SCIA has the same vision for the future as Fiona Ma herself: to unify business leaders with a single voice, to advocate for the collective interests of the cannabis industry, and to collaborate to secure the longevity of the cannabis industry.
After winning the primary election by a landslide, Fiona Ma will go on to face her opponent during the November election for State Treasurer. I am more confident than ever that Fiona Ma is the right choice for California. See you at the polls in November!
Are you a cannabis business owner trying to get your voice heard? Call us today and we’ll get you in the right direction.