SOURCE: Neshama Abraham – for the NHA

Washington, D.C. — On an overcast morning on Wednesday, May 5, 2016, on the 8th floor of an office building overlooking DuPont Circle in the heart of our nation’s capitol, a group of leaders from national organizations and American hemp companies met in an historic gathering to discuss how best to move forward on a united front and make industrial hemp a fully legal crop in the U.S.

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Attendees of the May 5th D.C. Hemp Summit included (from left to right): Rick Trojan, Colorado Cultivars; Brian Furnish, Kentucky Hemp Industry Council; Michael Perry, PNX Botanicals; Eric Steenstra, VoteHEMP; Edward Woodford, SeedCX; Zev Paiss, National Hemp Association; Josh Hendrix, CV Sciences; Sarah Syed, CV Sciences; Michael Bowman, National Hemp Association; Jonathan Miller, Kentucky Hemp Industry Council; Quinatzin De La Torre, Bluebird Botanicals; Brandon Beatty, Bluebird Botanicals; Tim Gordon, CBDRx; Amber Littlejohn, American Herbal Products Association; Steve Bevan, GenCanna Global; Patrick Goggin, Hemp Industries Association; Ben Droz, VoteHEMP; Samantha Walsh, National Hemp Association; Geoff Whaling, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and the Coalition for Access Now; and Josh Stanley, CW Botanicals. Photo Credit: Ben Droz

Representatives of the National Hemp Association (NHA), the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), Vote Hemp, Realm of Caring, the Coalition for Access Now, National Farmers’ Union, American Herbal Products Association, Kentucky Hemp Industry Council, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council, plus over a dozen major hemp companies from Colorado, Kentucky, and California all came to the same conclusion.

By the time the group adjourned, attendees at the D.C. Hemp Summit had formed an agreement to join forces and support passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The “hemp bills” – S.134 (13 co-sponsors) and H.R. 525. (68 co-sponsors) – would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, and enable American farmers to grow and process a domestic source of industrial hemp for a U.S. hemp supply chain.

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Jonathan Miller, Esq.

Meeting facilitator Jonathan Miller, Esq. of the law firm Frost Brown Todd of Lexington, KY, wrote via email the next day stating that we would “look back at yesterday’s meeting as a pivotal moment to unite us in a common cause.”

A key outcome: Geoff Whaling, founding Board Member of Coalition for Access Now, and Joel Stanley, CEO of CW Botanicals, will lead the charge to encourage supporters of S.1333 (13 co-sponsors) and H.R. 1635 (67 co-sponsors), plus other members of Congress sympathetic with hemp oil, to also become co-sponsors of S.134 and H.R. 525. This would essentially double the co-sponsors of the IHFA and usher in a new wave of momentum for the hemp bills to move out of committee and be called up for a hearing during this Congressional session.

During the meeting a committee was appointed including Zev Paiss, NHA Executive Director, Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director, and Miller, founder of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Council, to help coordinate this joint work. The full group will meet via conference call on a monthly basis to build stronger ties, share information, and conduct activities to support passage of the IHFA. 

Companies attending the May 5th D.C. Hemp Summit included: Bluebird Botanicals, Colorado Cultivars, GenCanna Global, CBDRx, CV Sciences, PNX Botanicals, Dr. Bonner’s, CW Botanicals, SeedCX and the government relations firm Dutko Grayling.

Stay tuned for updates on the NHA Federal Campaign website page. If you haven’t yet, please sign our Petition to Congress to pass the IHFA. Help us meet our goal to deliver 100,000 signatures to Congress on July 4, 2016