For Immediate Release

August 27, 2017
Washington D.C

The National Hemp Association, the nation’s leader in advocating for the return of the industrial hemp crop to the nation’s farmlands, hosted, its Annual General Meeting on Saturday in which a number of announcements were made to its membership and supporters.

“We have implemented some major initiatives in a very short timeframe to better represent our Membership and the Industry – issues that are most important to kick starting this multi-billion, possibly, trillion-dollar farming industry” said Geoff Whaling, who became the NHA Board Chairman In June. “The announcements we made during the Annual General Meeting concern actions we’ve taken to ensure NHA’s leadership well into the future and the passage of HR3530 – the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.”

An important step in that process was administrative; the Board of Directors has been reduced from 11 members to 5. This change was taken to streamline decision-making and responding to important industry issues. In addition, the NHA welcomed two new members to their Board of Directors, both industry leaders. The NHA will utilize their extensive backgrounds to expand events, increase membership benefits, address science and regulatory issues the industry faces, and provide the NHA with representation in two of the largest states advancing Industrial Hemp.

Marielle Weintraub

Marielle has a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience and extensive knowledge of the endocannabinoid system. She is truly passionate in advancing the use of CBD oil as an alternative to other medications, when appropriate. In her current position with Covance Food Solutions, one of the largest analytical chemistry and contract research organizations, she hopes to advance the needs of this industry. Her successful campaign to allow Hemp/CBD oil testing at the Covance facilities has been a big game-changer for some of the members of the NHA. Marielle is based in Texas, however her position with Covance Food Solutions has her covering the mountain plains, including Colorado. Marielle’s science background adds another perspective to an already diverse board.

Christine Ianuzzi

Christine Ianuzzi is a Managing Partner of H.A. Bruno Events, LLC. H.A. Bruno Events, LLC, operates Leading Edge Expositions, LLC (LEE) which produces the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions held in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. The Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions are business-to-business events for the legalized cannabis industry in the largest media, financial and business markets.

Ianuzzi’s previous executive roles include serving as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer for Robocast, Inc. Prior to that, Ianuzzi served as Vice President of Studio & Production Operations, and then as Vice President of Supply Chain Operations for HBO from August 2010 to June 2014. Prior to HBO, Ianuzzi served as Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Technology for ABC Radio Networks/Citadel Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010 where she led and implemented the technical and business goals of the Engineering and Operations divisions. She was a key executive during the transition of ABC Radio Networks to Citadel Broadcasting in restructuring and realigning the company in a changing industry.

Weintraub and Ianuzzi join current board members Geoff Whaling, NHA Chairman, President of Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council, Catherine Hearn, Vice Chair and President/Owner of Healthy Seeds & Nuts, LLC, a wholesaler of hemp ingredients, and Alex Seleznov, Treasurer and  CEO of several hemp industry companies related to growing, processing, and retailing hemp and hemp products..

Other major announcements include:

1) New offices for the Association in the nation’s capital, making the NHA the only industry organization to be located in the District of Columbia.

2) Modified by-laws and corporate structure to comply with both State and Federal requirements, but most importantly to support better responsiveness to the membership.

3) New Executive Director, Erica McBride, who brings years of administration and management experience along with both the knowledge of industrial hemp and the building of a state hemp council into one of the premier groups in the nation..

4) New logo and brand for the Association – one that instantly speaks to Industrial hemp being a commodity crop. The logo has been quickly incorporated into NHA’s communications, website, newsletters, social media, marketing materials, collateral and letterhead.

5) Alliance with the Hemp Heals Foundation to be their not-for-profit 501c3 – for those organizations and individuals who would also like to receive a tax-deductible receipt for their support. The NHA also aligned the organization with the US Hemp Roundtable to be their “Business Council”. Through their association with the Roundtable, the NHA is planning an Industrial Hemp Fly In on September 13th in DC to advance and gain co-sponsorships of HR 3530 – the Industrial Hemp Farming Act – which the NHA helped draft. The bill was introduced by Representative Comer three weeks ago.

6) Meetings with USDA Secretary Perdue’s Senior Staff – and through these meetings have affirmed their role as the national leading association representing hemp. This has already benefitted the industry as the NHA was able to help 9 hemp research grants gain approval by NIFA. The NHA also has a commitment from the USDA to quickly respond to policy issues and inquiries about Industrial hemp.

“Although we have accomplished much in a short timeframe, we still have much to do to rebuild the confidence of our membership and to gain co-sponsors for both the House and Senate Legislation”, said Whaling. “I am sure that these actions demonstrate NHA’s determined commitment to live up to both our own and our membership’s expectations!”



Erica McBride
Executive Director



100 M Street SE, Suite 500, Washington D.C. 20003