Hemp Industries Association Steps Up Again

Many people believed the inception of the 2018 Farm bill would allow for a moment of clarity for producers and consumers of the cannabis plant. Any companies legally producing non-THC products or its affiliates within the industry believed the banking industry among other organizations would be welcoming to this new legislation.

Nothing could be further from the truth...

Licensed growers and processors in New York State specifically are up against many challenges such as finding financial institutions willing to provide funding for needed equipment and facilities. The newly created cannabis industry is heavily regulated with significant procedures, processes and equipment needed to ensure compliance in both growing and processing of the plant. While legislation varies from state to state, banks have taken a wait and see approach. Financial institutions are not the only industry slowly adapting to the changes nationally. Equipment providers, wholesale ingredient suppliers, packaging manufacturers, real estate developers and other related companies are treading lightly into the new era.

There is an organization which has been fighting for the rights of this plant since the early ‘90s,  The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) . This organization was created in 1994 and has over 1,000 active business members. According to the HIA website the mission and goals of the organization are as followed:

“The mission of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a 501(c)(6) membership-based non-profit trade association, is to advance the hemp economy and educate the market for the benefit of our members, the public, and the planet. 
The HIA and HIA Members educate the public about the exceptional attributes of hemp products; Facilitate the exchange of information and technology between hemp agriculturists, processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers; Maintain and defend the integrity of hemp products; Advocate and support socially responsible and environmentally sound business practices.”

Recently the HIA embarked on a large campaign to target Facebook and Instagram policies. Here is a link to the campaign: https://thehia.org/HIAhemppressreleases/7352630

“Hemp Industries Association® (HIA®), in association with Hoban Law Group, Bluebird Botanicals, and Bish Enterprises, is launching a national campaign aimed at addressing Facebook’s current advertising policy of prohibiting the marketing and promotion of industrial hemp via Facebook and Instagram. Although hemp was redefined as an agricultural commodity, explicitly removing it from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act and the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the current Facebook policy still classifies hemp as an illegal, prescription or recreational drug.” According to the association press release.

Currently, NOWAVE or any cannabis related company cannot use Facebook or Instagram for paid advertising and marketing to aid in education or promoting anything related to the cannabis plant. 

“With the passage of the farm bill, it seemed there would be a new dawn for stakeholders of the hemp industries absolving them from confusion over whether hemp is a federally controlled substance – it’s not,” said Colleen Keahey Lanier, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “But hemp entrepreneurs nationwide are currently being denied access to one of the most powerful marketing platforms in the world for small businesses restricted to outdated policies that continue to conflate hemp with marijuana. Not all of Cannabis is considered a drug, and Facebook’s new AI technology is already obsolete if it continues to recognize images of Cannabis as a controlled substance generally.”

The digital advertisement, which simply reads “Facebook: Stop Censoring Hemp.” will run daily in Times Square until August 24. In addition, the Association is coordinating a massive grassroots campaign among its more than 1,500 members in support of the much-needed policy change.