The National Hemp Association is currently governed by a 4 member volunteer Board. Each member serves a two year term automatically renewed for a maximum of 5 terms. Board members come from many of the nation’s most experienced hemp professionals.
Below are our current NHA Board members.
Geoff Whaling – Chair – Geoff Whaling is a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist who has played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the hemp industry. He is best known as the Chairman of the National Hemp Association (NHA), a non-profit organization that advocates for the expansion of hemp farming and the use of hemp products in the United States.
Whaling’s journey in the hemp industry began, first in Canada in the 1980s, and then when he became interested in the potential of industrial hemp as a sustainable crop for America. He soon realized that hemp had the potential to revolutionize several industries, including textiles, building materials, food, feed and even fuel. He became a vocal advocate for the legalization of hemp farming and worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the benefits of hemp.
In 2012, Whaling co-founded the Coalition for Access Now to help those afflicted with neurological disorders gain access to hemp extract, better known today as CBD, and worked with 18 States to pass legislation. At the federal level Whaling worked with Senate Leader Mitchel McConnell to pass the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research Act in the 2014 Farm Bill. Whaling was the Founder of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council in 2015, which aimed to promote the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in the state. He also served as the President of the council and played a key role in the legalization of hemp farming in Pennsylvania. Whaling’s contributions to the hemp industry did not go unnoticed, and in 2016, he was appointed as the Chairman of the National Hemp Association. Under his leadership, the NHA has grown into one of the most influential organizations in the hemp industry, with a mission to promote the growth and development of the industry in the United States and, now, around the globe.
In addition to his work with the NHA, Whaling joined his Canadian colleagues, Bruce Linton and Mark Zekulin as co-founder of Canopy Growth Corporation HIP Development. He too is also a co-founder of Collective Growth Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that raised $150M to focuses on investments in the industrial hemp industry. The company went public in 2020, and Whaling served President and Co-Founder. In April 2022, CGC closed on a transaction the brought Innoviz Technologies public in $1.4 B transaction. With the establishment of rePlant Hemp in 2022, a $500M VC fund, he has refocused his energies on bringing much needed capital to the industrial hemp sector.
Whaling’s experience and expertise have made him a sought-after speaker and consultant in the hemp industry. He has spoken at numerous conferences and events and has been featured in several media outlets, including Forbes, CNN, and CNBC.
Throughout his career, Whaling has been committed to using hemp as a tool for positive social and environmental change. He has been involved in several philanthropic initiatives, including the “Hemp for Vets” program, which aims to provide hemp-based wellness products to veterans.
Overall, Geoff Whaling is a trailblazer in the hemp industry and a passionate advocate for the benefits of hemp. His leadership and vision have helped to shape the industry around the globe and pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Alex Seleznov – Treasurer – Alex is an experienced financial officer and business executive specializing in non-profits, Board of Directors, and Fin-Tech including Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.
Alex is the National Director of Finance at PC’s for People, a national non-profit recycling computer electronics to provide the life-changing impact of low-cost computers and mobile internet to low-income and disadvantaged individuals. As a long-time vegan and animal rights supporter, Alex also offers business consulting and coaching services to plant-based companies.
His hemp experience includes being the Founder of the Pure Hemp Botanicals CBD brand and former CEO of a vertically integrated hemp operation from 2015 to 2020. The business operated several divisions including growing, processing, manufacturing, and retailing hemp products.
Prior to those positions, Alex spent three years in the horticulture industry with one of the largest greenhouse growers in the western United States. Alex joined the NHA in October of 2014 and became a Board Member in 2015. Named one of the top 100 people to know in Cannabis by The Hemp Connoisseur magazine, Alex brings over 20 years of financial and business acumen to the NHA from a diverse array of industries including manufacturing, public accounting, health care, and financial services.
Faye Coleman – Secretary – Ms. Coleman has extensive knowledge of operations, company culture, and employee engagement. Her expertise includes program implementations in key corporate areas such as supply chain, global diversity and inclusion, and talent management strategies designed to build “employer of choice” organizations.
Before launching Pure Genesis (PG), LLC, Ms. Coleman began her agile career successfully serving in diverse leadership positions with Kraft General Foods, Campbell Soup, and Vlasic Foods International. Next, Ms. Coleman successfully transitioned into retail leadership with the Home Depot, Target, and CVS Pharmacy where she led significant market teams to drive business excellence as it relates to sales, supply-chain optimization, customer service, pharmacy operations as well as Brand standards while leading with a team-first mentality. Today Ms. Coleman is a multi-state operator, educator, and consultant within the cannabis industry with an extensive list of community first business initiatives that PG is excited to move forward.
Pablo Falla – Board Member – Pablo graduated in Marketing at the University of Texas as a Colombian-born native. In the year 2000, he started in the real estate world by creating Prime American Homes. Pablo founded Best Brothers Coffee, serving as CEO to date in Costa Rica – Central America.
Courtney Moran, LL.M. – Legislative Counsel – Founding Principal of EARTH Law, LLC and Chief Legislative Strategist for Agricultural Hemp Solutions, LLC, expertly champions forward-thinking policy for hemp agribusiness. She worked closely with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in drafting and negotiating the 2018 Farm Bill sections federally legalizing hemp. Courtney successfully litigated the landmark case KaB, LLC v USPIS (2018) establishing the precedent for the shipment of hemp through the US Postal Service.
Courtney co-authored and is leading efforts on the federal Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 (S. 980, H.R. 3755), with IND Hemp and the National Hemp Association, to reduce regulatory barriers for grain and fiber farmers, support industrial hemp supply chain growth, and expand hemp grain and fiber market opportunities.
From 2015 to June 2023, Courtney lobbied for the Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association protecting Oregon hemp agricultural interests. She served as a Governor Appointee on the HB3000/SB1564 Taskforce on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production representing hemp farmer interests throughout the state of Oregon.
She also strategically guided the initial implementation of hemp programs in South Carolina, Wisconsin, Alaska, and Missouri. She continues to influence hemp policy throughout the U.S. and federally. In 2021, Courtney led the passage of Montana HB 396, authorizing hemp as commercial animal feed, opening markets for hemp grain, fiber and whole plant products.
During his keynote presentation at the 2019 Western U.S. Hemp Growers Conference & Expo in Portland, Oregon, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden acknowledged “In a sentence, we would not have hemp legalization without Courtney”.