PCA Launches State Advocacy Grant Program

November 30, 2023 By Nicole Tabacco

The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is announcing a new state advocacy grant program aimed at investing in State Associations and their boots-on-the-ground lobbying capacity for the 2024 legislative cycle. This is PCA’s latest tool to respond to legislative and regulatory threats in real-time and represents an investment towards the importance of State Associations and local retailers that lead these partner organizations.

The resources in the program approved by the PCA Board of Directors will be spent much like a match grant program where the State Association agrees to match funding by the Premium Cigar Association, going towards hiring contract lobbyists to advance positive legislation or fight back against erroneous regulations. State Associations must have a basic infrastructure in place and must meet certain criteria to be eligible for funding, including having an incorporated state association and agree to accountability and transparency with the Premium Cigar Association about where the funds will be spent.

“This is not only a way for us to support existing state associations and their advocacy capacity, but it also establishes a baseline for starting a brand-new state association with the prospective of seed funding. This criterion is a blueprint to get started and to receive funding. Our staff will continue to support individual associations and retailers with strategy and logistics, and this is a new tool to help maximize that effectiveness,” says Scott Pearce, executive director of the PCA.

Grant Criteria:

  • Have an incorporated and active state association.
  • Have an elected board of directors.
  • Have a designated treasurer, with authority over accounts.
  • Agree to comply with PCA reporting requirements.
  • Agree to PCA involvement in consulting lobbyist selection process.
  • Agree to disclose any and all issues for which funds are used and for which lobbyist is engaged.
  • Provide PCA with the operating budget and amount and source of funds raised by the state association.

“This year, our team has been extremely effective in the states and is reflective of retailers stepping up to defend their businesses. This state grant program is aimed at spurring this level of activity and, frankly, success moving forward. Each year, our team must evaluate our priority area, and in the past, our Vision 50 strategic plan focused on litigation or international outreach. Make no mistake, this is the year of the states,” says Joshua Habursky, PCA’s head of Government Affairs.

Applications can be submitted to the PCA online portal below and will be reviewed by appropriate advocacy staff and the PCA Legislative Affairs Committee. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will reflect legislative/regulatory necessity in the state.

You can apply here.

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