Update from our Chairman, Geoff Whaling:
Over the last number of weeks, we have continued to grow our reach and leadership within a number of States and in our nation’s capital. We are pleased to be able to represent your interests with State legislatures, Congressional Members, their Staff and with the new Administration.
As many may know, I also represent farmers in my Board position with the Farmers Union. These two roles allow me to represent hundreds, if not thousands of farming families on the important issues that are the most challenging – fair markets, fair wages, keeping the Farm Bill intact and affordable health care. What this role also affords me is to point to the opportunities and solutions that could be achieved if we had Federal Industrial Hemp legislation.
The National Farmers Union Fly-in was September 8-11th. More than 350 NFU Members descended in Capital Hill to raise these issues. They all were armed on the most pressing talking points, but also carried NFU’s full endorsement of Industrial Hemp legislation with them into their discussions. Many elected are now beginning to see the tie in to farmers and our crop.
From there, NHA Executive Director, Erica McBride and I joined in with NHA’s Business Council affiliate, the US HEMP ROUNDTABLE, for a full-day of meetings focused specifically on HR3530 – the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. This also included a meeting with the Bill’s Sponsor, Representative Jamie Comer (R-KY), who updated us on discussions to date with Committee Chairman and Senate Members (who will no doubt have their own, separate, Industrial Hemp Bill).
You can play an important role in helping advance HR3530. The Bill will go to 2 House Committees – Energy and Commerce and Judiciary. Each of those will assign it to a sub-committee for consideration and a vote. We now know that HR3530 is assigned to the Energy and Commerce Health Sub Committee. Please check out their membership and see if you are represented by one of these Congressman/woman. If so, please research and contact their office. Speak with the Congressman/woman’s Legislative Director or AG Policy staffer. Lend your support for HR3530 and ask that they become a co-sponsor of the Bill or support its passage through the Health Sub-Committee and the full Energy and Commerce Committee. Once we know which committee the Bill will land at in Judiciary, we will send an update and request.
Please let us know of your legislative approaches and achievements! We’d like to highlight them in a future post.
We could not undertake our work without your input and support. Membership is important to demonstrating the reach of the industry and the growing numbers who want access to our crop. Thank you!