Recently, NHA Chair Geoff Whaling, Board Member and Legislative Council Courtney Moran, and Executive Director Erica Stark took to the capitol to continue discussions surrounding the 2023 Farm Bill. Their primary focus was the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023, a critical piece of legislation that would separate fiber and grain hemp from cannabinoid hemp, and allowing hemp seed and seedcake as animal feed for domestic animals, including companion, exotic, equine, and other non-production animals.
The ultimate goal is to work towards a whole-of-government approach that prioritizes the needs of farmers and the hemp industry.
The trip was a busy one – meeting with 10 Senate Offices, 2 House Member Offices, the Senate Ag Committee, the House Ag Committee, USDA, and the American Farm Bureau. But the NHA team was up to the challenge. They brought their “asks” to the table, advocating for changes that would benefit our members and the hemp industry at large.
While the top priority may have been the Industrial Hemp Act of 2023 and animal feed, the team did not forget the needs of the cannabinoid industry and advocated for the needed legislation to provide the framework desperately needed to create reasonable regulations for CBD and other cannabinoids to finaly bring them out of the legal gray zone.
At while they were at it, they also presented several other considerations, like urging the GSA to establish a FACA on Industrial Hemp and encouraging the National Science Foundation to advance research and standards on Industrial Hemp. They also pushed for America-grown industrial hemp and products produced from it to be included within the procurement programs of the Federal Government, including the gift shops in the capitol buildings.
Despite their busy schedule, the NHA team kept things fun and light. They rocked D.C. with their enthusiasm and passion for the industry, even taking a moment to enjoy the city’s famous monuments and the uncharacteristically early spring blossoms.
Overall, the trip was a huge success. The NHA team worked together with federal regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders, making a positive impact for their community and ensuring a bright future for the hemp industry. The NHA is truly dedicated to advocating for the needs of farmers and the hemp industry, and their work on Capitol Hill is a testament to their commitment to driving positive change.