National Hemp Association Encourages Administration to Invest in Hemp
At a time when every media outlet is running stories about increased pricing on food, animal feed and related supply chain shortages, which the White House and USDA Secretary Vilsak claim are coming as a direct of gouging by monopolies, the National Hemp Association (NHA) encourages the Administration to invest in America’s Next Natural Resource, which can be part of the solution for so many of the challenges facing our nation.
“The legal hemp commodity produces the most nutritional feed and protein available to mankind” asid Geoff Whaling, chair of NHA, the nation’s leading hemp advocacy group. “Yet whether the subject be food, feed, pure protein, climate, energy, new cement or construction alternatives – issues which are this White House’s highest priorities – we have not seen any direct support for the research or infrastructure needed for hemp to fulfill its potential to meet these goals.”
Hemp was reauthorized, after being prohibited for 85 years, to be grown nationally through the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which was included in the Agricultural Improvement Act passed by the last Congress. “It was the only legislation that both Senator Schumer and McConnell agreed upon during the last session of Congress,” said Whaling. “Farmers who are suffering welcome the opportunity to add hemp into their rotations. Global companies seeking sustainable fibers for a myriad of products — green construction, light-weighting of electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, textiles, a super food and super feed — seek a domestic supply chain. Yet hemp, which was prohibited by the federal government to serve the interests of the plastic and forest industry 85 years ago, has not received the support or attention necessary to allow this commodity to have a fair chance to compete with the other commodities that have received billions of taxpayer dollars.
“The Administration continues to support traditional supply industries with billions of taxpayer funds,” said Whaling. “They just announced another round of grants and loans totaling over $1 billion to stand up small meat and poultry producers and manufacturers, while ignoring the growing trend of millions of American consumers who are turning to plant-based solutions, and farmers who are wanting to switch from animal production to new, environmentally friendly commodities like hemp.
“Hemp seed was granted GRAS status for human consumption years ago by the FDA and the nation relies on $600 million of annual imported hemp seed to meet that demand. Yet hemp grain for domestic animals and as a feedstock is banned” said NHA Executive Director Erica Stark. “FDA continues to view hemp grain through the lens of a drug. At a time when the Administration publicly states it is looking at every way to address these national food and feed challenges it is time for hemp to have the roadblocks removed and to be given the consideration it deserves.”
“I hear the Administration on a daily basis tell the American people and people around the globe that we face a global climate emergency and that they are doing everything in their power, with taxpayer funds and policies, to address these issues that are crushing our planet,” said Whaling. “Here is a solution that is ready and able to play a major role in mitigating climate change. Ironically, when our nation faced another national emergency and needed hemp — for rope, uniforms and cloth for World War II, even though it was prohibited from being grown in any form — the US government rebuilt the hemp supply chain and industry overnight using the Commodity Credit Corporation. They then shuttered those facilities and again prohibited farmers from growing when the war ended.” said Whaling. “I have heard the President and dozens of officials state on numerous occasions that we have a climate emergency affecting the planet’s food, feed and environment,” said Whaling. “It is time for the administration to act upon the numerous reports and plans they asked for, and received, to support the case for hemp”.
The National Hemp Association is calling upon the Administration to get serious about the global contribution that supporting hemp can play for this planet.