by Zev Paiss, NHA Executive Director
When you imagine the American hemp industry a decade from now, what might it look like? And what do you consider to be the biggest obstacle between us and that future?
- Is it the inability to freely import seeds from outside the U.S. and begin growing millions of acres of American hemp?
- Could it be the challenge of rebuilding a multi-faceted industry which was completely dismantled after World War II?
- Might it be the confusion between marijuana and hemp and lack of understanding about hemp’s myriad of beneficial uses?
- Is it the conflicting legal status around the use and sale of products made from hemp extractions?
- Could it be the restrictions surrounding the transportation of seeds and live plants across state boundaries?
I expect that many of you who are in the rapidly growing hemp industry, have experienced several of these issues and may agree they are all obstacles standing in the way of hemp taking off in the United States.
On a regular basis, the National Hemp Association hears about these challenges and more. After receiving much feedback from leaders and innovators in the industry, we believe that our most important mission must be to make hemp fully legal at the federal level to dramatically reduce ALL of these concerns. This is the commitment we are making to you and everyone who wants to see this sustainable plant grown by American farmers and be part of the nation’s landscape.
To treat hemp like a sustainable agricultural crop is the motivation for us to pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act — Senate Bill 134 and House Resolution 525 — which were introduced at the beginning of 2015.
Over the next 12 months we will be leading the effort along with American farmers, processors, labor unions, agricultural organizations, large and small businesses, researchers, investors and hemp enthusiasts across the nation. On Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11, 2015), we launched our Federal Campaign at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and money is beginning to flow in. To be successful we will need the support of many and partners who understand what is necessary to pass comprehensive legislation at this level.
We need funds now to support our fight. Please donate one-time or make a regular donation to the campaign. For donations of $100 or more, we will send you one of the first NHA hemp t-shirts in early 2016. If you are in the position to become one of our Campaign Sponsors, please contact us.