HIA Board of Directors Gains Two New Members

October 5, 2020

New additions to fortify HIA’s strategic focus on education and whole-plant advocacy efforts to establish industrial hemp as a robust and sustainable agricultural commodity.

VANCOUVER, Washington­ – The Hemp Industries Association announces the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors: Julie Lerner, Founder & CEO of PanXchange, Inc., a web-based negotiation and trading platform for physical commodities; and Rob Davidson, CEO of CURE Pharmaceuticals, a vertically-integrated drug delivery and development company.

“We are excited to welcome Julie and Rob to the leadership of the HIA,” said Jody McGinness, Executive Director for the Hemp Industries Association, “Their breadth of knowledge, professional expertise, and passion for the plant will elevate our effectiveness as an organization and strengthen our capacity to address the unique challenges that stand between what the U.S. hemp industry is today, and what it can and should be.”

The HIA Board of Directors voted to appoint the two new members to fill vacant seats with terms ending in 2022, marking another significant step in a process of organizational transformation begun earlier this year.

Julie Lerner is the Founder and CEO of PanXchange, Inc., a web-based negotiation and trading platform for physical commodities. With deep experience in regional and international agricultural and energy markets, she brings a systems design focus and an innovation mindset to her role on the HIA board, and is enthusiastic about the potential to serve the hemp industry by helping to expedite market growth and maturation. “It’s an honor to join the HIA board,” said the Boston University alum from the PanXchange offices in Denver, “I’m looking forward to using my commodity market experience to work with this board and members across the country to help bring efficiencies and liquidity to this diverse and rapidly growing industry.” Lerner began her career at the Swiss headquarters of global food trading giant Cargill International, and later moved on to be Cargill’s Senior Latin American sugar trader. She has also worked in electricity markets for Sempra Energy Trading and in agricultural weather derivatives with XL Financial. Geographically, her area of expertise covers the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and East Africa. As Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an angel group focused on early-stage investments in women-owned ventures, Lerner provided entrepreneurs with strategic business advice and access to funding.

Robert Davidson is CEO of CURE Pharmaceutical, an innovative drug delivery company based in Oxnard, California, that is developing novel ways to deliver active ingredients, including full spectrum hemp extract. Recognizing that hemp can offer a sustainable solution to consumers and farmers, Davidson is focused on ensuring industry development considers three autonomous constituents: social development, economic development, and environmental safety. He is eager to help establish a clear path toward regulatory process and fair access to CBD from hemp-based agriculture as a right of the consumer. “It is an honor to join the board of the HIA, the oldest organization supporting all aspects of hemp,” said Davidson, who holds several degrees including a Master’s in Sustainable Leadership from the University of Cambridge, “I look forward to helping drive the mission of the organization and the opportunity to make sure hemp is influential in a creating a more sustainable world.”Rob previously served as President and CEO of InnoZen Inc., CEO of Gel Tech, LLC, CEO of Bio Delivery Technologies. Inc., and has served on multiple corporate boards. He has been responsible for the development of several drug delivery technologies and commercial brand extensions, and worked with brands such as Chloraseptic™, Suppress™, as well as Pediastrip™, a private label electrolyte oral thin film sold in major drug store chains.

The Hemp Industries Association Board of Directors now numbers nine members, and meets virtually once per month to direct the organization strategically and guide the HIA to address pressing needs of the U.S. Hemp Industry. The HIA recently joined with a major CBD retailer to file suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC to challenge the Drug Enforcement Administration’s recent Interim Final Rule on the 2018 Farm Bill.


Founded in more than 25 years ago by a group of hemp business owners and activists, The Hemp Industries Association is a membership-based nonprofit trade association that serves all facets of the U.S. hemp economy. Its mission statement reads: “To advance the hemp economy and educate the market for the benefit of our members, the public, and the planet.” For more information please go to www.thehia.org