The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) has announced a state advocacy grant program. This program aims to invest in State Associations and fund lobbying activities at the state level for 2024.

“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, in a statement announcing the program.

A process has been set up where a State Association can apply for the grant from PCA. If the PCA approves, the State Association would then agree to match the grant. 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 agreeing to accountability and transparency with the Premium Cigar Association about where the funds will be spent. These criteria include:

  • 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 issues for which funds are used and for which a 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 reflects 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,” added Joshua Habursky, PCA’s head of Government Affairs.

A portal has been set up for applications to be submitted. The appropriate advocacy staff and the PCA Legislative Affairs Committee will review these applications on a rolling basis.