The Cannabis Friendly Business Association released an open letter asking for the cannabis industry to unite as legalization becomes a reality.

Cannabis Friendly Business Association president Abi Roach said a growing number of organizations and individuals with conflicting interests have been engaged in negative attacks against one another.

With the Liberal government poised to announce changes to medical cannabis regulations in less than a month, Roach said it’s no time to be decisive.

“After over 70 years of prohibition, we are now less than a year away from a legal regulatory framework,” she said. “Despite some differences of opinion on the details of what the end of prohibition should look like, we should all recognize the tremendous progress this represents and come together to celebrate the end of the war on cannabis.”

Roach said that a disappointing “cannabis war” has broken out across the industry.

In recent months we have seen battles emerging across the cannabis world, activists versus entrepreneurs, licensed producers versus dispensaries, pharmacies versus compassion clubs and lounges,” she said. “While we fight, government regulators, public health and safety officials and legal experts along with law enforcement are quickly and quietly making rules that will affect the future of cannabis, and we can’t provide them with a consistent message.”

Roach said it’s important for the industry to work together to ensure that medical patients retain access to cannabis and that recreational users have product choice under the new regime.

Often the target of smaller growers’ frustration, Roach said government licensed producers deserve respect after investing millions of dollars into meeting Health Canada regulations.

“We may not see eye to eye on everything, but we cannot question their commitment or professionalism,” Roach said, noting that pharmacies may also soon be able to dispense cannabis.

Roach said that it’s tough to predict at this point what the industry will look like and which players will remain or dominate the industry.

What we can’t lose sight of in this last few months of prohibition is the value of the people who’ve worked in the space for decades,” she said. “People who know cannabis, the culture, the products, will not be left behind.”

The Cannabis Friendly Business Association and the Cannabis Growers of Canada are hosting a Meet & Toke session Tuesday, Jul. 26 at 7pm at the Hot Box Cafe to discuss industry issues and challenges.