Committee Blog: Your Voice Matters – Advocate for Crucial Changes in the American Hemp Industry
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Committee Blog: Your Voice Matters – Advocate for Crucial Changes in the American Hemp Industry

Published by NCIA’s Hemp Committee

The Hemp Industry needs your help. The 2018 Farm Bill, which made it legal to grow and process hemp, was a big step forward for the larger Cannabis industry. After the bill passed, lots of growers, processors, and manufacturers started building the Hemp Industry. Like any new industry, it’s had its ups and downs. But there are some big roadblocks that Congress can remove to help the Hemp Industry grow and set the stage for better rules around all Cannabis in the future.

2023 is a crucial year for American hemp producers as the 2018 Farm Bill is due to expire. Congress is now drafting a new Farm Bill that will direct our agricultural and food systems for the next half-decade. During this critical period, the NCIA Hemp Committee is working tirelessly to rally support for amendments that will not only benefit the industry but also our customers. Our requests are as follows:

  1. Update the legal definition of hemp to allow for up to 1% Total THC: This would offer critical protection for farmers and processors, as the current legal limit can sometimes be exceeded naturally in the crop growth process, leading to crop loss and financial hardship.
  2. Support the Growth of the Hemp Industry by Encouraging Banking and Lending Services: The Treasury department should provide written guidance for banking and lending services to hemp-related businesses, removing barriers to growth in this burgeoning industry.
  3. Support HR 3755 for Non-consumable Hemp: By recognizing the distinction between consumable and non-consumable hemp products, we can encourage the development of a wide range of industrial applications for hemp, from textiles to building materials. 
  4. Prevent Misuse of THC by Teens and Young Adults: This requires comprehensive educational initiatives to provide accurate information about THC and its potential effects. In doing so, we can ensure that the growth of the hemp industry does not inadvertently lead to misuse of THC among young populations.

During the recent NCIA Lobby Days, we had constructive meetings with influential decision-makers, including members of the Agricultural Committee and their staff. Our team left these sessions with a sense of hope and determination, having shared our top four priorities and discussed other important issues. Now, we’re calling on you, the supporters of the Hemp Industry, to make your voices heard and contact your members of Congress to showcase broad support for these initiatives.

“NCIA Lobby Days provides the stage and podium, and you bring the voice. We meet with decision makers (congressional staff) who ARE interested in our real-life scenarios, and it educates them to educate their Senate and House of Representative leaders.  Education is power. It (Lobby Days) also provides an environment to meet like-minded people in the cannabis industry, share our stores, learn/educate, and collaborate.  I plan to attend each year as it is enlightening and empowering!” Jillian Johnson

How can you help?

Remember, members of Congress are elected to represent the interests of their constituents – that’s you. But they can only effectively do so when they’re fully informed about the issues that matter to you. Your voice is powerful and essential to our democratic process. By speaking up, you can provide important insights and help shape the future of the Hemp Industry.

  1. Send an email to your members of congress.
  2. Reach out directly to your Representative and Senators

Rhiannon Woo

Rhiannon Woo is the Co-Founder & COO of TraceTrust and the organizer of NCIA's Hemp Committee.

Rhiannon is a CPG and ag-tech professional focused on quality management systems and continuous improvement through leadership training, plan development and implementation support to manufacturers across the United States. Rhiannon has developed audit standards, as well as training and calibration programs with industry organizations, shippers, retailers and auditing companies across the value chain.

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