Representatives and owners of more than 40 hemp-related businesses from the U.S., Canada, and Germany united November 3 – 8 in Paradise Valley, Arizona for an organizing conference.
The purpose of this hemp business conference was to define labeling standards, ethical guidelines and methods to promote the utilization of hemp products. On November 6, 1994, this pioneering group signed a document constituting a new trade association called the Hemp Industries Association (HIA).
Hemp has a long tradition of uses and was perhaps our earliest cultivated plant. Its fibres have been woven into fine linens and canvases. Its seeds have been a source of food and nutritious oils. Its resurgence as a feed stock for industry has been stymied by one fact, its flowering tops are known as marijuana. Drug laws have been used to repress all legitimate attempts to produce industrial crops in this continent. The rest of the world is rapidly developing hemp technology while North American entrepreneurs must content themselves with importing the raw materials from which they manufacture a wide variety of products.
The Hemp Industries Association is the Hemp counterpart to Cotton, Inc., and the Linen Council. There is an overwhelming demand for True Hemp Products and market indications of a thriving future for those involved in the hemp industry. This has already resulted in attracting opportunists who are misrepresenting hemp content in their products. The companies involved with forming this new trade alliance premiered hemp product distribution in their respective countries and have focused their promotion and the majority of their revenue towards the goal of reintroducing hemp as an environmentally sound economic agricultural base. These companies are concerned with maintaining the integrity associated with cannabis hemp and will offer a seal of assurance to the consumer on products which meet the rigid standards recently set by the Hemp Industries Association.
The HIA will concentrate on promoting the benefits of using hemp in the manufacture of apparel, paper, plastics, textiles, food, building materials and energy products, and will also seek to remove any arbitrary barriers that have been imposed on the industry by governmental regulation. Additionally, it will perform public education on the history and uses of hemp, reach out to participants in the hemp related industries (such as textile, paper, seed oil and building supplies), and work with government officials to establish and maintain reasonable levels of compliance.
During their five-day organizing conference, the group participated in a seminar work-shop presented by fibre fabric authority, Owen Sercus, Professor of Textile Development at the world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. The newly agreed upon by-laws were of course printed on hemp paper.
Association members will now address the issue of public misconceptions and government regulations through their collective knowledge and unity. HIA will also seek out other active hemp distributors and suppliers throughout the world to join in their efforts. Membership in the Hemp Industries Association is open to all companies currently engaged in hemp products commerce. Membership fees are set on a sliding scale based on volume of business generated, so that both small companies and large international corporations can participate in the decision making process.