Conference’s Success Underscores Growing Entrepreneurism, Technological Innovation and Expansion of Hemp Industry in U.S and Abroad
Lexington, KY – Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses and farmers, hosted its 22nd annual conference during September 27 through September 29, 2015, in downtown Lexington, KY. Attended by HIA business and farmer members, non-members, as well as national media and leading political figures, the 2015 HIA conference was sold-out for the first time in the history of HIA. Speakers included James Comer, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, and expert speakers David Mitlin, Professor at Clarkson University, David Williams, Agronomist at University of Kentucky, Mike Fata, CEO of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Ethan Russo, MD, Medical Director at Phytecs,, plus many others. Presentations ranged from such topics as the expansion of the hemp industry and market in North America, new technological applications of hemp fiber in super-capacitor batteries, hemp home building methods, best practices in hemp agronomy, CBD products, and legislative progress and remaining challenges in the U.S. and internationally.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer received the Vote Hemp Leadership Award at the conference. Other award recipients include Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who received the Legislator of the Year Award; Craig Lee, recipient of the HIA Lifetime Achievement Award; and Coleman Hemphill, who was honored as Vote Hemp Activist of the Year.
The third day of the conference concluded with a Hemp Farm Tour, during which participants toured fiber, grain and CBD hemp crops at the University of Kentucky, the Gilkison Farm and the Graves Farm managed by HIA member Andy Graves of Atalo Holdings.
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 retailors; 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 $620 million in retail sales, according to SPINS data and HIA estimates, hemp products are demonstrating significant market growth; with 21.2% year over year growth for the category of hemp foods and body care products alone. Currently, 27 states have defined industrial hemp as distinct from ‘marijuana’ and have removed barriers to its production.
For more information about the conference, including a recap and photo album, please visit: http://www.thehia.org/blog
# # #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.organd 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