Hemp Industries Association (HIA)
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA)
The Hemp Industries Association, otherwise known as HIA, is an organization that has a goal of educating the public about agricultural hemp and helping further the hemp economy. The public is generally very misinformed when it comes to hemp and the hemp industry as a whole. This is an unfortunate occurrence because there is a great deal of benefit associated with hemp. The HIA wants to help spread awareness on the benefits of hemp to the public so they can make more informed decisions and opinions. Therefore, the Hemp Industries Association wants to be able to let the public in on all of the great aspects of hemp and, more specifically, hemp products.
Another very important project that the Hemp Industries Association is trying to further is the collaboration between farmers and other areas of the supply chain that are intertwined within the hemp industry, like processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Having great insight is wonderful, but it does a lot more good when the benefits of it can be shared across an industry to make it stronger, and even more profitable, for all.
The HIA is instrumental in fostering the exchange of helpful information between all the involved parties of the hemp industry. The Hemp Industries Association realizes how much better the hemp industry could function if the distributors and retailers were on the same page as the processors, manufacturers, and even the hemp farmers themselves.
One issue that is facing the hemp industry currently, that the HIA is working hard to try and find solutions to, is the reputation and integrity of hemp products. Many people have a great deal of misconceptions when it comes to what hemp is and what it actually does. Unfortunately, a large amount of the public thinks hemp is the same or almost the same as marijuana in terms of usage and effects. However, this is not the case. Hemp and marijuana are both part of the Cannabis family, but unlike marijuana, hemp does not contain the high levels of THC that cause a hallucinogenic effect. The Hemp Industries Association works hard to defend hemp and clear up any stereotypes that may be associated with it that are false.
Responsibility is a very important aspect for the HIA. When any agriculture product is grown and manufactured for consumer use, there needs to be concern for the environment. The Hemp Industries Association knows that this is no exception for the hemp industry. Therefore, being caring of the environment is a priority for the HIA. This is embodied by the use of sustainable and organic agricultural practices and the following of strict standards for quality set forth by the Hemp Industries Association.
However, responsibility does not end on the note of environmental care and consideration. The hemp industry also needs to have reliable and sound business practices that are both ethical and fair. Again, the Hemp Industries Association puts socially responsible business practices at the top of their list of priorities.
Hemp Industries Association Conference
The Hemp Industries Association also serves the industry by hosting an annual conference where industry participants and the general public can learn more about the usage and benefits of hemp. Over twenty years in the making, this conference has grown from a small room of a couple participants, to now serving hundreds of people. Hosted in states across the US in cities like Washington DC; Lexington, KY; Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA and Los Angeles, CA, the HIA annual conference is a great avenue to meet and network with hemp industry leaders from across the globe.
A Couple of the Industries Served by the HIA
There is so much talk about cannabinoid hemp extracts like cannabidiol (CBD), and for good reason! While our scientific knowledge on cannabinoids is just scratching the surface, these hemp extracts are not necessarily new to the hemp industry. In fact, hemp extract was a common ingredient in medicines up until the late 1930s. Today the Hemp Industries Association has taken lead and stood up for the legalities of hemp extract like CBD. Earlier in 2017, the HIA sued the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) due to federal overreach. This is not the first time the Hemp Industries Association has taken a legal stance for hemp against the US federal government. In 2004, the HIA also sued the DEA for attempting to block hemp foods from being sold in the United States.
Hemp Food Industry
Although some people may not realize it, but hemp seeds are actually edible and highly nutritious. High levels of vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates combine to give hemp seeds a high status when it comes to well-rounded foods. Hemp seeds can be crushed and cold-pressed in order to create hempseed oil which is also high in nutritional benefit as well. The Hemp Industries Association helps to bring advocacy and solutions to the hemp foods industry. With the positive representation of hemp by the HIA, consumers may come to realize that hemp seeds and their by products like hemp hearts, hempseed oil and hemp protein, are far more nutritious than they could have ever imagined.
Hemp fibers have been used for clothing for thousands of years. In fact, hemp was grown extensively in pre-colonial and colonial America. The hemp fibers were used widely due to their strength and durability. Hemp is used in rope, sacks, canvas, and even paper. Textiles that are not made of hemp cannot even compare to the overall utility and durability of hemp textiles. Due to the composition of hemp fibers, there is less stretching out and distortion with products made of hemp. Despite popular belief, hemp is actually quite comfortable and the fibers are stylish as well when used for garments. Similar to cotton, a quite popular textile fabric, hemp has a breathability that means is will be cooler in hot weather rather than other, less porous materials.
The Hemp Industries Association prides itself on accurately representing hemp for all industries, including the textile industry. Positive representation from the HIA means a better public understanding of the many uses of hemp in the clothing industry and other such industries that require textiles. Having hemp farming in the United States would likely be very beneficial to the clothing industry as access to sustainably grown fiber materials would be at an arm’s reach.