HIA Board Candidate Profile

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Spencer Owens

Government Affairs Specialist - CBD Kratom

Candidate Bio

I work as the Government Relations Specialist for CBD Kratom! I am the point of contact for all governmental and political leaders. I track legislation in the US Legislature and in state legislatures across the country. I also correspond with policy and advocacy leaders in our states of business. It is my utmost priority to search identify potential bans on any hemp derived products and find unique solutions to defeat them in legislatures, court houses, and city council chambers across the country.

Candidate Skills Self-assessment

Corporate Governance / Board Service - Fair to moderate
Nonprofits / Fundraising - Significant to expert
Business / Management - Fair to moderate
Compliance / Regulatory - Significant to expert
Policy / Advocacy - Significant to expert
Safety / Testing - Fair to moderate
Marketing / Public Relations - Fair to moderate
Accounting / Finance - Fair to moderate
Team Building / HR - Fair to moderate
Public Speaking / Media - Significant to expert
Strategic Planning - Significant to expert

What vision for the hemp industry motivates you to get involved and try to help make it a reality?

When I entered this industry, it was on the cusp of achieving true greatness and positive notoriety as products like Delta-8 THC, CBG, and HHC were becoming safer and more accessible. However, over the last year and a half, we have seen the federal government and state governments around the country try to tell consumers what products they can use and turn business owners into criminals. I want to help build the hemp industry into a safe and successful space for innovation away from the over burdensome tactics of many in politics today. In a sense we were blessed that hemp was demonized for 80 years because we've learned the mistakes from soy and have the opportunity in front of us to do it right with a new crop. Let's not make the same mistakes with hemp. Instead let's move the crop forward in a light that helps our soils and actually creates positive change.

Because HIA serves all facets of the hemp industry, we have a truly big tent membership with diverse needs, opinions, and perspectives. As a Director, how will you help the organization to effectively balance those factors?

As my background and current career has been focused on Government Relations at the state and local level, I think that I can bring a wealth of experience and resources from the states that I have worked in and built relationships in. From New York, to Missouri, to Texas and beyond I have built networks of trustworthy partners to help push hemp to be a safer and more accessible space. I think this experience would allow me to bring unique thoughts and ideas to the role of Director.

What priorities do you think HIA should be focusing on in the coming years in order to best support the hemp industry?

The HIA must focus on government relations and regulatory oversight in the next few years if the hemp industry is to survive. Many organizations have decided to cast out those of us who have spent years creating new and exciting products for the benefit of our consumers all for the benefit of one or two cannabinoids or products. The HIA must stand for the entirety of the hemp plant and all its products, or it cannot stand at all.

What aspects of your background and/or character do you think will be most helpful in terms of your ability to be an effective board member?

Working with different legislators and policy makers from around the country has given me the unique ability to wear many hats and empathize with many different folks. I can communicate just as well with the New York legislators as I do with the Texas ranchers and farmers. My skills as a communicator would hopefully be a strong asset to this board.

What would you tell a prospective member about the HIA in order to help them understand the value of joining?

The HIA is one of the oldest and most stalwart defenders of the hemp plant in US History. It has stood for the entirety of the plant for many years and has a plan in place to continue supporting farmers, cultivators, retailers, and consumers for years to come. It is vital that this organization remain at the forefront of the industry.