Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses and farmers, hosted its 23rd annual conference during September 17 through September 20, 2016, in Westminster, Colorado just north of Denver. Attended by HIA business and farmer members, non-members, as well as national media and leading entrepreneurs and celebrity figures, the 2016 HIA conference was the most highly attended conference in the history of the HIA. Speakers included Andrew Freedman, Colorado Director of Marijuana Coordination; Ethan Russo, MD, Medical Director of Phytecs; Alex White Plume of the Oglala Sioux; Jake Plummer, former NFL player for the Denver Broncos; and many others. Many attendees also enjoyed a hemp farm tour that visited the CBDRx, a hemp farm and processing facility in Longmont and a hemp research plot maintained by Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Presentations ranged from such topics as hemp home building methods, the role hemp can play in regenerative agriculture, challenges to hemp farming on Native American lands, law enforcement and local government’s role in regulating hemp farming, hemp plastics and innovative manufacturing practices, and certification and intellectual property of hemp products. A primary focus of the 23rd annual conference was on CBD, or cannabidiol products: the biological effect of CBD in the body, regulation and standards for CBD products, and new research involving CBD in the fields of health and medicine.
Sheila Hemphill, of the Texas HIA state chapter, received the HIA Leadership Award. Other award recipients include Barbara Filippone and Summer Star Haeske who both received the HIA Lifetime Achievement Award; Green Spring Technologies which received the HIA Innovation Award; New York Assembly Woman Donna Lupardo, who received the Vote Hemp Legislator of the Year Award; and McMillan Arrington, who received the Vote Hemp Activist of the Year Award.
The success of the conference demonstrates both the growing interest in industrial hemp worldwide, as well as the leadership of the Hemp Industries Association. Founded in 1994, the HIA continues to grow in membership and expand its work to fulfill its mission of facilitating exchange of information between agriculturists, manufacturers, distributors and retailers; maintaining and defending the integrity of hemp products; advocating for socially and environmentally responsibly business practices; and educating the public about the benefits of industrial hemp. Exceeding $573 million in retail sales in 2015, according to SPINS data and HIA estimates, hemp products are demonstrating significant market growth. Currently, 32 states have defined industrial hemp as distinct from ‘marijuana’ and have removed barriers to its production.
Source: The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Release featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.