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NIHC Announces Effort to Strengthen Testing Standards, Labels for CBD

Date: 16 November 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) announced today, at its 2021 Hemp Business Summit, plans to roll out a pilot program establishing standards for product testing protocols and laboratories. Participants in the program will be able to label products with the NIHC label of approval, ensuring the accuracy of product labeling that will set standards for ingredients, ensure the accuracy of labeling and ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in the cannabidiol (CBD) products that they’re buying. 

The announcement, made during the standards panel discussion, comes one day before NIHC will hear directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cannabis Product Committee Chair, Grail Sipes, at its meeting tomorrow. 

“We’re excited for this program that we believe is going to strengthen consumer confidence, promote accuracy in labeling and ultimately, protect the brand of hemp,” said Patrick Atagi, President and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council. “Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have been waiting for the FDA to act on CBD. Without any guidance from the FDA thus far, NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”

NIHC believes in establishing an accurate, consistent testing regime. This label will bring value to the marketplace and integrity to products sold nationwide in stores and online. NIHC is exploring testing standards and third-party verification laboratory requirements that will be applicable when testing for potency, pesticides, metals, terpenes, and other product attributes. A critical part of the program will include using third-party accreditation bodies to verify that laboratories are following the appropriate testing protocols and properly calibrating their equipment, and that those running the tests are properly trained. 

“As one of North America’s leading food and consumer product testing companies, FSNS is pleased to lead this effort,” said Barry Carpenter, NIHC Board member, NIHC Standards Committee Chair, and Senior Advisor for Regulatory Affairs and Client Relations for Food Safety Net Services (FSNS). “This initiative will bring value to the marketplace and peace of mind to the consumer with reliable and transparent information about CBD products.”

NIHC is looking to partner and explore these standards with the world’s leading standards bodies, hoping to make a pilot program for CBD companies and labs available for enrollment. 

With NIHC developing its own standards and label, consumers looking to buy CBD products, at either brick-and-mortar retail stores or online, will have an opportunity to look for an NIHC label that ensures products that they’re considering purchasing meet the most stringent safety protocols in the hemp industry.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications.

NIHC Kicks Off 2021 Hemp Business Summit

Date: 15 November 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), the only Washington, D.C.-based trade association in the hemp industry, this morning kicked off it’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Highlighting the summit will be speaker’s from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Curt Schrader (D-OR).

“We’re excited to bring this event to America’s hemp farmers, processors, retailers and consumers,” said NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi. “When we hosted this event in 2019 in Portland, we were announcing ourselves as a new organization. Today, our members are here to learn from the experts in our industry and hear updates about the important programs NIHC has implemented to strengthen the brand of hemp here at home and around the world.”

NIHC’s 2021 Hemp Business Summitt has the most dynamic line up of speakers to address the U.S. domestic hemp industry. Besides represetnatives from USDA, FDA, and members of Congress, the speaking line up features some of the country’s most aforementioned experts in the hemp industry touching every part of the hemp value chain from growers, banking, capital investments, economics, academia, consumer safety and attorney’s who litigate on behalf of numerous hemp buisnesses.

“Since our first meeting, NIHC has grown in size and stature,” said Atagi. “We look forward to a successful meeting that further cements the NIHC as the leading organization advocating on behalf of industrial hemp.”

Our line up of speakers will touch every part of the plant in every part of the globe and we couldn’t be more pleased at the value-add this meeting will bring for not only our members but the entire hemp industry at large.” Atagi concluded.

Since its founding in 2019, NIHC events have remained the sole place where a bipartisan collection of FDA officials have made public comments. Additionally, NIHC is a new government cooperator through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) meaning NIHC has the ability to bring industry together to lead trade missions overseas and promote the exports of American hemp. NIHC also has two board members who currently serve on Agriculture Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) that advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Represetnative (USTR) on technical barriers to trade.

NIHC did not have a meeting in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

Patrick Atagi Named President and CEO of NIHC

Date: 27 October 2021

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) Board of Directors proudly announces that Patrick Atagi has been named President and CEO of the hemp industry’s only Washington, D.C.-based trade association. The NIHC continues to grow with new staff and leadership. Members, industry partners, hemp associations, and international partners will meet with Atagi on November 14-16th at NIHC’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit in Washington, DC.

Atagi currently serves on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) on Cotton, Tobacco, Hemp and Peanuts at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which advises not only the Secretary of Agriculture, but also the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on technical barriers to trade. Atagi is one of two members of the NIHC to serve on a USDA ATAC.

“The economic promise of hemp has the capacity to change the world,” says Atagi. “Its utility is near limitless and it can be found in everything from food to clothes, building materials and manufacturing. Our goal at NIHC has always been, and will remain: to create a hemp economy that works for everyone.”

Under Atagi’s leadership, NIHC has had several accomplishments, which have raised the profile of industrial hemp.

In 2020, NIHC’s input was instrumental in Congress extending the 2014 Hemp Pilot Program. This year, NIHC took the lead in drafting language for Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislation to change the statutory definition of hemp to one percent delta-9 THC. NIHC has also worked with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Paul to write legislation giving FDA the authority to make CBD not just a dietary supplement; but also an ingredient in food.

Atagi led the Board of Directors in an initiative to successfully enroll NIHC as an official government partner through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), a public-private partnership in which the USDA matches industry funds to promote U.S. commodities in the global economy. The NIHC was successfully awarded $200,000 from the USDA MAP initiative.

“I’m thankful for our Board of Directors and the members of NIHC who have placed their trust in me to be a voice that leads our industry. We will continue to do the necessary work to promote the brand of hemp, ensure consumer safety and usher the U.S. hemp industry into the global marketplace,” Atagi says.

Prior to this role, Atagi was the Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs at the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA), subsequently becoming the Executive Director of the NWPCA Political Action Committee (PAC). Other leadership roles in Washington, D.C. include Director at the American Chemistry Council, Secretariat for the World Chlorine Council, and Director at the National Association of State Department’s of Agriculture (NASDA).

Atagi is prepared for this challenge. He has served in multiple roles at the USDA and United States Senate, as well as having private sector international and domestic experience. Atagi served as a presidential political appointee at USDA; Confidential Assistant to the Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Director of Alaska and Native American Programs. He began his career in Washington working on agricultural issues for then United States Senator Mark Hatfield (OR), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He also remains President of DA Farms in Nyssa, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has his MBA from the University of Maryland, Global Campus. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Tracy.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information please go to www.hempindustrial.com.

 

 

NIHC Partner, Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, receives $10 Million Grant from USDA

Date: 8 October 2021

The USDA has awarded a $10 million grant to Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center (GHIC) to define economic opportunities for industrial hemp in the Western United States.

The grant, which funds the five-year project, is funded by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program and will study the economic opportunities for hemp in Native American and rural communities in Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.

You can read the full brief of the grant here on the USDA website.

“We established the Global Hemp Innovation Center in 2019 to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders to address big unanswered questions about the hemp industry,” Jeffrey Steiner, associate director of the center said in a statement. “While enthusiasm for hemp has grown, there is still a tremendous lack of knowledge about the crop.”

NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi sits on the Executive Advisory Board of Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center partners with NIHC, frequently lending data and scientific expertise as we advocate for and protecting the brand of hemp.

In what is sure to be a highlight next month in Washington, Jay Noller, the Executive Director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center, will be providing the keynote address at NIHC’s Hemp Business Summit.

“As a member of the Global Hemp Innovation Center’s Executive Advisory Board, I’m excited at the possibilities this grant presents the entire hemp industry,” said Atagi. “From food, to fiber and grain, industrial hemp has the potential to prime the pump of our economy over the next generation while also setting the standard for climate smart agriculture. This grant will help showcase the potential of the hemp plant and I couldn’t be more pleased for Jay and Jeff and the entire team at Oregon State.”

The grant was announced by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as part of an investment of more than $146 million in sustainable agricultural research projects aimed at improving a robust, resilient, climate-smart food and agricultural system.

NIHC Summit Tackles Banking in Expert Panel

Date: 1 October 2021

Experts in Banking & Farm Credit for Hemp-related Businesses come together to share in a timely panel designed to provide insight on the financial sector of industrial hemp. If hemp is legal, why are so many hemp-related businesses struggling to find reliable banking partners? We delve into this hot topic with leaders who can provide an insider’s view.

Todd Van Hoose, Melissa Marsal, and Sundie Seefried share what attendees need to know about banking and farm credit for a hemp business, including how to find the right bank, review the risks hemp-related businesses take by banking with some institutions, and how to prepare for the additional scrutiny to obtain and retain a good banking relationship.

Todd Van Hoose is President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council, where he leads the national trade association’s efforts to represent the Farm Credit System’s interests before Congress, the Administration, and various federal regulatory agencies. He also serves on a variety of leadership bodies within Farm Credit, including the Presidents’ Planning Committee and the Business Practices Committee.

Melissa Marsal is Chief Operating Officer of West Town Bank & Trust and has been with the Bank for over a decade. She oversees all aspects of Operations and is also responsible for helping the Bank build a program uniquely tailored to the challenges of hemp-related businesses. Through the Bank’s partnership with RiskScout, Inc., they provide a client experience that reduces the time to open a bank account from weeks to a matter of hours.

Sundie Seefried is CEO of Safe Harbor Financial, located in Denver Colorado. She is the former CEO of Partner Colorado Credit Union and retired from her credit union career of 38 years to focus her full attention on cannabis banking. In 2014 instead of retirement, she designed a full scope Cannabis Banking Program known as the Safe Harbor program which has withstood the scrutiny of 15 Federal and State exams to date.

Have you registered? Time is of the essence! Don’t delay!

NIHC Among Stakeholders to Provide Feedback to Secretary Vilsack

Date: 1 October 2021

At the invitation of USDA Secretary Vilsack (right), NIHC joined a stakeholder call on Monday to discuss issues of interest to U.S. Agriculture Trade. The call included an update from the Secretary on his recent meetings at the G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Italy last month and the Biden Administration’s goals for trade with China. The Secretary also previewed some of his goals are for the upcoming COP-26 meetings in November.

As a government cooperator through USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), it’s important for the NIHC to be on these calls and hear updates directly from the Secretary as we begin to promote American hemp in the global marketplace. NIHC is following up with USDA to get answers to some of the most important questions facing the hemp industry on regulatory oversight and standardization as hemp emerges as an American agricultural commodity.

Currently, 25 percent of the world’s hemp cultivation occurs in Europe with the French leading with 40% of that cultivation, followed by the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Romania. In total, 20 different countries are cultivating hemp on the European continent. As popular as cannabinol (CBD) is, hemp is mainly being cultivated by the Europeans for industrial applications including paper, pulp, and bio composites for auto manufacturing. Hemp shivs also have long-established commercial uses in Europe for animal bedding and the manufacturing of construction materials – mainly insulation.

A change in public opinion throughout Europe has led to a widespread acceptance of appropriate regulatory guidelines for cannabidiol in Europe. It’s now widely accepted that the hemp processing sector will undergo significant expansion and ownership consolidation, but the latter may still be several years off. If true, that means a significant expansion in the industrial uses of hemp in the European market can be met with U.S. grown hemp and U.S. led companies.

But without regulatory certainty coming from Washington, U.S. farmers could be at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to competing on the world stage if Europe finds other sources for raw material to meet its growing demand for hemp and hemp-derived products. That is why NIHC is continuously advocating on behalf of the entire hemp industry.

Please Join Us!

We welcome you to join us at the next NIHC Trade and Marketing Committee Meeting on Wednesday, October 13th at 1:00 pm EST, especially if you have an interest in the development of domestic and international trade in the hemp industry. Click here to add this committee meeting to your calendar.

The committee is also looking forward to meeting in person at the NIHC Hemp Business Summit in NovemberClick here to register and see a list of speakers at what promises to be one of the most informative events in the hemp industry this year.

If you would like to receive updates and invites from NIHC on trade and marketing, please email Grace Johnson, NIHC Director of Government and Industry Affairs, at [email protected]. For questions on trade development, please contact Kevin Latner at [email protected].

NIHC Makes Policy Statement on Delta-8 THC

Date: 30 September 2021

NIHC: “The safety profile of Delta-8 THC products is questionable”

 

WASHINGTON – Last week, the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) met with over 20 state regulators at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) conference on what is working and not working in their state hemp programs. We repeatedly heard their deep concerns about the impact of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) on public health, and the need to revise the Federal definition of hemp.

In light of those meetings, and after statements of similar concerns recently made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NIHC issues its position on Delta-8 THC:

“NIHC continues to believe that consumer safety is paramount for all products in the hemp market.  The safety profile of Delta-8 THC products is questionable, and we believe that they should not be sold or marketed as hemp-derived products.

“The clearest pathway to protect consumer safety and create a hemp economy that works for everyone is to revise the federal definition of hemp to include all tetrahydrocannabinols, as recommended by NASDA with the bipartisan support of 45 states, and as broadly supported by stakeholders throughout the industry, regulatory officials, and in both chambers and parties on Capitol Hill.  Such a clarification in statute would unequivocally prevent the sale of products containing unsafe concentrations of Delta-8 THC as hemp.

“Delta-8 THC has flooded the market because of the lack of regulatory certainty from the FDA on cannabidiol and other hemp-derived products. Along with Congress changing the statutory definition of hemp to one percent total THC, the FDA can do its part to protect consumer safety by making clear guidelines for hemp-derived products as Congress intended in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

The NIHC Government Affairs committee continues to have conversations and look at more intricate policy solutions on Delta-8 THC. The committee will release more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the mid-November Hemp Business Summit in Washington, D.C. offers opportunities for NIHC members, industry stakeholders, and regulators to actively engage with each other in person on how to regulate Delta-8 THC.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information please go to www.hempindustrial.com.

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NIHC Announces Effort to Strengthen Testing Standards, Labels for CBD

Date: 16 November 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) announced today, at its 2021 Hemp Business Summit, plans to roll out a pilot program establishing standards for product testing protocols and laboratories. Participants in the program will be able to label products with the NIHC label of approval, ensuring the accuracy of product labeling that will set standards for ingredients, ensure the accuracy of labeling and ultimately, strengthen consumer confidence in the cannabidiol (CBD) products that they’re buying. 

The announcement, made during the standards panel discussion, comes one day before NIHC will hear directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cannabis Product Committee Chair, Grail Sipes, at its meeting tomorrow. 

“We’re excited for this program that we believe is going to strengthen consumer confidence, promote accuracy in labeling and ultimately, protect the brand of hemp,” said Patrick Atagi, President and CEO of the National Industrial Hemp Council. “Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, consumers have been waiting for the FDA to act on CBD. Without any guidance from the FDA thus far, NIHC is stepping up to develop our own testing standards and labeling protocols that we believe will enhance consumer safety and protect the consumer’s right to know.”

NIHC believes in establishing an accurate, consistent testing regime. This label will bring value to the marketplace and integrity to products sold nationwide in stores and online. NIHC is exploring testing standards and third-party verification laboratory requirements that will be applicable when testing for potency, pesticides, metals, terpenes, and other product attributes. A critical part of the program will include using third-party accreditation bodies to verify that laboratories are following the appropriate testing protocols and properly calibrating their equipment, and that those running the tests are properly trained. 

“As one of North America’s leading food and consumer product testing companies, FSNS is pleased to lead this effort,” said Barry Carpenter, NIHC Board member, NIHC Standards Committee Chair, and Senior Advisor for Regulatory Affairs and Client Relations for Food Safety Net Services (FSNS). “This initiative will bring value to the marketplace and peace of mind to the consumer with reliable and transparent information about CBD products.”

NIHC is looking to partner and explore these standards with the world’s leading standards bodies, hoping to make a pilot program for CBD companies and labs available for enrollment. 

With NIHC developing its own standards and label, consumers looking to buy CBD products, at either brick-and-mortar retail stores or online, will have an opportunity to look for an NIHC label that ensures products that they’re considering purchasing meet the most stringent safety protocols in the hemp industry.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications.

NIHC Kicks Off 2021 Hemp Business Summit

Date: 15 November 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), the only Washington, D.C.-based trade association in the hemp industry, this morning kicked off it’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Highlighting the summit will be speaker’s from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Curt Schrader (D-OR).

“We’re excited to bring this event to America’s hemp farmers, processors, retailers and consumers,” said NIHC President and CEO Patrick Atagi. “When we hosted this event in 2019 in Portland, we were announcing ourselves as a new organization. Today, our members are here to learn from the experts in our industry and hear updates about the important programs NIHC has implemented to strengthen the brand of hemp here at home and around the world.”

NIHC’s 2021 Hemp Business Summitt has the most dynamic line up of speakers to address the U.S. domestic hemp industry. Besides represetnatives from USDA, FDA, and members of Congress, the speaking line up features some of the country’s most aforementioned experts in the hemp industry touching every part of the hemp value chain from growers, banking, capital investments, economics, academia, consumer safety and attorney’s who litigate on behalf of numerous hemp buisnesses.

“Since our first meeting, NIHC has grown in size and stature,” said Atagi. “We look forward to a successful meeting that further cements the NIHC as the leading organization advocating on behalf of industrial hemp.”

Our line up of speakers will touch every part of the plant in every part of the globe and we couldn’t be more pleased at the value-add this meeting will bring for not only our members but the entire hemp industry at large.” Atagi concluded.

Since its founding in 2019, NIHC events have remained the sole place where a bipartisan collection of FDA officials have made public comments. Additionally, NIHC is a new government cooperator through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) meaning NIHC has the ability to bring industry together to lead trade missions overseas and promote the exports of American hemp. NIHC also has two board members who currently serve on Agriculture Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) that advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Represetnative (USTR) on technical barriers to trade.

NIHC did not have a meeting in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

Patrick Atagi Named President and CEO of NIHC

Date: 27 October 2021

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) Board of Directors proudly announces that Patrick Atagi has been named President and CEO of the hemp industry’s only Washington, D.C.-based trade association. The NIHC continues to grow with new staff and leadership. Members, industry partners, hemp associations, and international partners will meet with Atagi on November 14-16th at NIHC’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit in Washington, DC.

Atagi currently serves on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) on Cotton, Tobacco, Hemp and Peanuts at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which advises not only the Secretary of Agriculture, but also the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on technical barriers to trade. Atagi is one of two members of the NIHC to serve on a USDA ATAC.

“The economic promise of hemp has the capacity to change the world,” says Atagi. “Its utility is near limitless and it can be found in everything from food to clothes, building materials and manufacturing. Our goal at NIHC has always been, and will remain: to create a hemp economy that works for everyone.”

Under Atagi’s leadership, NIHC has had several accomplishments, which have raised the profile of industrial hemp.

In 2020, NIHC’s input was instrumental in Congress extending the 2014 Hemp Pilot Program. This year, NIHC took the lead in drafting language for Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislation to change the statutory definition of hemp to one percent delta-9 THC. NIHC has also worked with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Paul to write legislation giving FDA the authority to make CBD not just a dietary supplement; but also an ingredient in food.

Atagi led the Board of Directors in an initiative to successfully enroll NIHC as an official government partner through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), a public-private partnership in which the USDA matches industry funds to promote U.S. commodities in the global economy. The NIHC was successfully awarded $200,000 from the USDA MAP initiative.

“I’m thankful for our Board of Directors and the members of NIHC who have placed their trust in me to be a voice that leads our industry. We will continue to do the necessary work to promote the brand of hemp, ensure consumer safety and usher the U.S. hemp industry into the global marketplace,” Atagi says.

Prior to this role, Atagi was the Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs at the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA), subsequently becoming the Executive Director of the NWPCA Political Action Committee (PAC). Other leadership roles in Washington, D.C. include Director at the American Chemistry Council, Secretariat for the World Chlorine Council, and Director at the National Association of State Department’s of Agriculture (NASDA).

Atagi is prepared for this challenge. He has served in multiple roles at the USDA and United States Senate, as well as having private sector international and domestic experience. Atagi served as a presidential political appointee at USDA; Confidential Assistant to the Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Director of Alaska and Native American Programs. He began his career in Washington working on agricultural issues for then United States Senator Mark Hatfield (OR), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He also remains President of DA Farms in Nyssa, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has his MBA from the University of Maryland, Global Campus. He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Tracy.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information please go to www.hempindustrial.com.

 

 

NIHC Summit Tackles Banking in Expert Panel

Date: 1 October 2021

Experts in Banking & Farm Credit for Hemp-related Businesses come together to share in a timely panel designed to provide insight on the financial sector of industrial hemp. If hemp is legal, why are so many hemp-related businesses struggling to find reliable banking partners? We delve into this hot topic with leaders who can provide an insider’s view.

Todd Van Hoose, Melissa Marsal, and Sundie Seefried share what attendees need to know about banking and farm credit for a hemp business, including how to find the right bank, review the risks hemp-related businesses take by banking with some institutions, and how to prepare for the additional scrutiny to obtain and retain a good banking relationship.

Todd Van Hoose is President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council, where he leads the national trade association’s efforts to represent the Farm Credit System’s interests before Congress, the Administration, and various federal regulatory agencies. He also serves on a variety of leadership bodies within Farm Credit, including the Presidents’ Planning Committee and the Business Practices Committee.

Melissa Marsal is Chief Operating Officer of West Town Bank & Trust and has been with the Bank for over a decade. She oversees all aspects of Operations and is also responsible for helping the Bank build a program uniquely tailored to the challenges of hemp-related businesses. Through the Bank’s partnership with RiskScout, Inc., they provide a client experience that reduces the time to open a bank account from weeks to a matter of hours.

Sundie Seefried is CEO of Safe Harbor Financial, located in Denver Colorado. She is the former CEO of Partner Colorado Credit Union and retired from her credit union career of 38 years to focus her full attention on cannabis banking. In 2014 instead of retirement, she designed a full scope Cannabis Banking Program known as the Safe Harbor program which has withstood the scrutiny of 15 Federal and State exams to date.

Have you registered? Time is of the essence! Don’t delay!

Delta Ag – Partnering with Farmers to Provide Global Supply Chains with Sustainable Raw Hemp

Date: 1 October 2021

 

Delta Agriculture™ (Delta Ag) estimates it is the largest full-service provider of hemp in the United States. They aim to provide Fortune 500 companies with sustainable raw goods while focusing on the carbon negative properties of industrial hemp. The company’s clever new tagline, “Powering the Carbon Negative Future,” is more than just words and truly speaks to the vision behind their recently launched rebrand.

This is the core philosophy on which the company is building its brand and business.

Building from the Supply Chain Up

The founders of Delta Ag are supply chain experts. They saw the emergence of industrial hemp as an opportunity to build a supply chain from scratch — one more efficient and environmentally sustainable than any other. “Those opportunities come along very rarely, if ever at all,” says Nick Strawn, Chief Operating Officer, “and we saw that as an exciting challenge, especially given the industry’s significant potential for growth.”

The management team has extensive experience in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors, specifically in developing and strengthening supply chains. They began investing in cannabis, focusing on developing a proprietary processing technology and associated intellectual property to build upon. They pursued CBD, as it was the immediate opportunity, but have had their eyes fixed on the long-term viability of industrial hemp fiber and grain from the beginning.

“We see hemp as a strong revenue stream because you can truly utilize the whole plant, thereby minimizing waste and costs,” added Graham Owens, President. “It is advantageous for everyone from farmer to product manufacturer to consumer.”

Many, both inside and outside the industry, treat hemp as a boutique crop. But from the beginning, Delta Ag sought to change that perception by scaling their operations with a big-ag commodity approach never before attempted within the industry. That is one of the many reasons the company chose to join the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC): The shared vision of jointly enacting the change needed to responsibly grow and sustain the U.S. hemp industry.

“We recently joined NIHC because we share similar philosophical values, and felt that together, as partners, we have the ability to influence change at the highest regulatory levels,” says Owens. “We see the impact NIHC has already made, and we want to be a part of that process.”

“We see opportunity in large industrial applications, but at the moment, the industry is fractured,” says Strawn. “We have managed to bring together a vibrant supply chain in a relatively short amount of time, up and down the marketplace, similar to what we did for oil and gas. While we initially focused on monetizing the flower, our sights are set on utilizing the whole plant and expanding our fiber and grain production.”

______

Delta Ag sought to change that perception by scaling their operations with a big-ag commodity approach never before attempted within the industry. That is one of the many reasons the company chose to join the NIHC: The shared vision of jointly enacting the change needed to responsibly grow and sustain the U.S. hemp industry.

______

Empowering Business Model

At the outset of 2020, Delta Ag was fully funded and ready to do business right as the pandemic hit. For a group of leaders who had weathered plenty of challenges before, COVID didn’t stop the Delta Ag team from building a network of farmers stretching from Delta, CO, to Slaton, TX, to Eddyville, KY that feeds their production.

“A lot of farmers jumped into hemp farming with big dreams,” says Owens. “Farmers were left out to dry. We recognized the value in actually partnering with farmers, trusting these experts to do what they do, and paying them what they deserve to farm the plant. They are the backbone of the entire company.”

“When farmers are contracted, Delta Ag builds a nearby processing facility and manages the harvest for the farmer with a proprietary model that takes pressure off the farmer. Our farmers use their expert ‘standard operating procedures’ to grow the plant, and we have learned a lot from them,” says Owens.

Hemp Feeds Economies

The goal of Delta Ag is to lead the industry in producing high-quality hemp fiber, grain, and flower at scale. In fact, to their knowledge, they are the only ones currently doing at to this level.

“Each facility can dry and process approximately 60,000 to 100,000 pounds of product per day and 100,000 pellets per day of biomass,” says Strawn. “We sell our flower to extractors for the oil. They then sell the oil isolate to manufacturers.” Delta Ag recently announced the launch of its hemp fiber line, marking a transitional growth from leader in hemp flower production into a full-scale industrial hemp supplier.

But it’s not just production. The company is also focused on working with policymakers to develop the regulatory framework needed for the industry to thrive, starting with regulations around using hempseed for animal feed.

“We see the future of the industry on the grain and fiber side. In the case of animal feed, it is tricky,” says Owens. “You can get a smoothie that contains hemp-based protein. Yet, right now, due to restrictions on selling commercial hemp for animal feed, we can eat hemp, but we can’t feed our livestock and animals hemp. U.S. regulators say they need to see more data from studies from U.S. producers, despite much of the world having studied and used hemp for animal feed for decades.”

In December 2018, the FDA found that hemp seed-derived ingredients for use in human food — including hemp seed oil, hemp hearts, and hemp protein powder — were considered “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for human consumption after careful evaluation. In fact, not only did the FDA approve these products as safe for human consumption, but hemp seeds are considered a superfood with immense nutritional value.

Yet, restrictions on hemp-based animal feed persist. The FDA has been slow to address it, and lawmakers continue to be confused about hemp and hemp-derived products. Despite the FDA recognizing hemp-derived foods as generally safe and studies having been conducted globally for years, the agency continues to claim the impact on the food supply chain has not been fully studied.

“There is a clear misunderstanding on how hemp-based animal feed would impact the human food supply chain,” says Owens. “The animal eats the feed, and then that animal becomes available for human consumption. The chicken-and-egg scenario is that the FDA wants market studies, but, without funding for such studies, it is difficult for the industry to conduct studies if the feed cannot be used in the first place. This is particularly frustrating considering the ban even extends to hemp being used as an ingredient in feed for animals not intended for human consumption.”

Generally speaking,” says Owens, “our biggest regulatory obstacle is a lack of guidance from the FDA — an agency that has understandably prioritized addressing COVID over the past year and a half. The industry needs regulatory clarity, and we want to work with the NIHC and others towards achieving this goal.”

With recent freezes and protein shortages, this approach leaves our country’s food and beverage manufacturers very vulnerable. Delta Ag sees an opportunity for U.S. farmers to be world leaders in this segment and fill that void. “There is a worldwide feed shortage. American food prices are skyrocketing, and there is global fallout from this shortage,” says Owens. “We see a clear path forward to make U.S. hemp farmers the leading supplier of hemp feed. We could potentially lead the world out of this shortage, providing real jobs and economic stability and stimulation for rural American communities along the way.

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“U.S. policymakers must position our farmers as the world’s foremost leaders in the production of industrial hemp ­– our nation’s food suppliers, environment, and families pocketbooks depend on it.”  ­­

– Graham Owens

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Hemp’s Environment Benefit

Delta Ag’s tagline “Powering the Carbon Negative Future,” celebrates that hemp absorbs 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide directly from the environment with every 10,000 acres planted. Currently operating more than 5,000 acres of farmland in West Texas, Kentucky, and Colorado, Delta Ag is on target to plant 10,000 acres this year and scale to more than 25,000 acres in 2022 — reducing the carbon dioxide in the air by millions of tons in the process.

“Hemp has environmental benefits that are second to none,” says Owens. “Hemp is the ideal carbon sink. Not requiring a lot of water, which hinders other crops, hemp is uniquely capable of surviving droughts. It revitalizes soil, so it makes a great alternative crop and contains high levels of protein and nutrients. With a plant to harvest cycle of 4 months, it can keep farmers busy year-round, and the whole plant can be utilized, like no other crop.”

“Our team has years of experience of crafting supply chains to meet end-product manufacturers demands, and we are building a network of hemp producers to work with us on the effort,” says Owens. “While we see animal feed as a place where we can immediately make an impact with hemp [given the feed shortage], there are so many other applications such as bioplastics, paper and paper products, oils for body care products and food, and even industrial building materials. With the right regulatory framework, it is a billion-dollar crop.”

According to Delta Ag’s CEO George Overbey, “Hemp is a miracle crop. Delta Ag is harnessing the power of the hemp plant to make a carbon-negative future possible right here at home and one day, globally.”

Learn more at https://deltaag.com/

NHIC is pleased to share that Delta Ag CEO George Overbey is a speaker at the NIHC 2021 Hemp Business Summit, speaking on, “A Path to Change the World, Starting with America’s Farmers.”

NIHC Makes Policy Statement on Delta-8 THC

Date: 30 September 2021

NIHC: “The safety profile of Delta-8 THC products is questionable”

 

WASHINGTON – Last week, the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) met with over 20 state regulators at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) conference on what is working and not working in their state hemp programs. We repeatedly heard their deep concerns about the impact of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) on public health, and the need to revise the Federal definition of hemp.

In light of those meetings, and after statements of similar concerns recently made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NIHC issues its position on Delta-8 THC:

“NIHC continues to believe that consumer safety is paramount for all products in the hemp market.  The safety profile of Delta-8 THC products is questionable, and we believe that they should not be sold or marketed as hemp-derived products.

“The clearest pathway to protect consumer safety and create a hemp economy that works for everyone is to revise the federal definition of hemp to include all tetrahydrocannabinols, as recommended by NASDA with the bipartisan support of 45 states, and as broadly supported by stakeholders throughout the industry, regulatory officials, and in both chambers and parties on Capitol Hill.  Such a clarification in statute would unequivocally prevent the sale of products containing unsafe concentrations of Delta-8 THC as hemp.

“Delta-8 THC has flooded the market because of the lack of regulatory certainty from the FDA on cannabidiol and other hemp-derived products. Along with Congress changing the statutory definition of hemp to one percent total THC, the FDA can do its part to protect consumer safety by making clear guidelines for hemp-derived products as Congress intended in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

The NIHC Government Affairs committee continues to have conversations and look at more intricate policy solutions on Delta-8 THC. The committee will release more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the mid-November Hemp Business Summit in Washington, D.C. offers opportunities for NIHC members, industry stakeholders, and regulators to actively engage with each other in person on how to regulate Delta-8 THC.

About the National Industrial Hemp Council: The National Industrial Hemp Council provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information please go to www.hempindustrial.com.

Recap: NIHC Attends Southern Hemp Expo

Date: 10 September 2021

This past week, NIHC traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to participate in the third annual Southern Hemp Expo (SHE3). We were delighted to take part in this great event and want to thank our friends at “Let’s Talk Hemp” for organizing three days of informative meetings and networking events.
At the expo, NIHC Chief Economist Beau Whitney spoke on Thursday afternoon about the hemp economy and provided some of his economic forecasts.“I’m very, very bullish on the hemp market,” Whitney told conference attendees. “Hemp is on track to become the fourth largest row crop in the United States after corn, soy and cotton. Opportunities in the areas of fiber and grain are astronomical, dwarfing the CBD market. This is just the beginning, this isn’t the end. If [hemp industry leaders] hang on you’re going to be rewarded later on,” Whitney concluded.

NIHC Senior Vice President of Communications Larry Farnsworth also attended and spoke on Friday afternoon addressing conference attendees on what NIHC is doing at the federal level, and provided valuable insights into international trade promotion programs that NIHC is spearheading. He also offered proactive and helpful tips on how companies can interact the with the media to promote the expansion of hemp in a positive light.

“NIHC continues to grow and engage policy makers across the board,” Farnsworth told attendees. “Whether it’s state lawmakers or state regulators, the federal government or governments overseas, NIHC is at the table working to make our industry more profitable for the farmers, processors and retailers who grow, make and sell our products around the world.”

Taking advantage of being in Raleigh, several leaders from North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture – and one of NIHC’s newest members – came to the conference on Friday afternoon to meet.

Overall, it was great to be able to be out, in person, meeting with our members.

Raleigh was a great host city, and we want to thank them hosting such a great event! To learn more about other regional hemp events put on by our friends at Let’s Talk Hemp, click here.

for more information

Grace Johnson NIHC
(202) 919-3750 / [email protected]

 

for media enquiries please contact:

international press office:

Greg Moore, gt&i Ltd
+44 (0)7748 968695 / [email protected]

US press office:

Larry Farnsworth, NIHC
(202) 919-3750 / [email protected]

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