Lobbying Efforts for Industrial Hemp Act Gain Momentum

On December 6, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee convened a Member’s Day hearing to discuss the forthcoming Farm Bill, providing an avenue for congressional members to articulate their priorities for the upcoming legislation. Notably, National Hemp Association (NHA) board member and Legislative Council, Courtney Moran, played a crucial role in representing the association’s stance.

During the hearing, Congressman Matt Rosendale, Chief Sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Act (H.R. 3755), delivered compelling testimony endorsing the incorporation of the act into the Farm Bill. He emphasized that the Industrial Hemp Act aims to simplify the regulatory framework for industrial hemp, distinguishing it from cannabis and addressing the unique needs of this agricultural sector. Congressman Rosendale stressed that the proposed legislation would alleviate burdensome regulations hindering farmers nationwide from capitalizing on the potential of industrial hemp, ultimately fostering job opportunities and empowering the agricultural sector.

In addition to Congressman Rosendale’s endorsement, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, Chief Co-Sponsor of H.R. 3755, submitted testimony reinforcing the bipartisan nature of the Industrial Hemp Act. She highlighted the need for regulatory stability to support farmers while acknowledging the challenges posed by the existing framework. Congresswoman Houlahan expressed hope that the proposed legislation would be included in the 2023 Farm Bill.

While in town for the hearing, NHA and AgHS (Agricultural Hemp Solutions), actively lobbied in Washington, D.C., advocating for the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 (S. 980, H.R. 3755). Courtney N. Moran, and National Hemp Association Chair Geoff Whaling, engaged with over 70 offices, including crucial discussions with the House Agriculture Committee Chair, Ranking Member, and USDA Secretary Vilsack’s office. These positive interactions underscored the necessity of an updated regulatory framework for grain and fiber industrial hemp, emphasizing the distinction between industrial hemp and cannabinoid hemp.

Looking ahead, with Farm Bill negotiations in progress, the National Hemp Association encourages supporters to take action. Visit the advocacy platform to urge representatives to co-sponsor the Industrial Hemp Act and advocate for its inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill.

The collaborative efforts of AgHS, NHA, and IND Hemp over the past two years have brought federal policy reform for industrial hemp to this critical juncture. Moving from concept to drafted bill text, federal bill introduction, and gaining cosponsors, the focus now remains  securing inclusion in the upcoming Farm Bill—a goal requiring continued dedication and concerted effort.