March and April have been months of radical changes for the Hemp Industry Association, the non-profit trade association founded in 1994 in Scottsdale, Arizona, to defend the rights of hemp farmers and entrepreneurs. On March 19th, 2020, the HIA disclosed that Joy Beckerman, President, would have stepped down from her chair in the Association’s administrative board. A month later, on April 21st, 2020, the Association announced appointed Vice President Rick Trojan as Board President, and Mike Lewis, former Association Treasurer, as Vice President. Moreover, the former Board Directors, Annie Rouse and Frank Robinson, have been appointed respectively Secretary and Treasurer. Currently, the Association is short-listing the bountiful of applications it received for the Executive Director position. Unsurprisingly, the selection process for vacancy is one that requires special care and attention because, as Mr. Trojan pointed out, the chosen candidate will be in charge of running Day-to-Day Operations.
According to the press release, Trojan commented the transition pointing out how former President Mrs. Beckerman ”has been an immense asset to the HIA and the hemp industry”. The former HIA President has developed highly engaging commitments with many other organizations over the years. Therefore, with the time constraints and other responsibilities that these commitments implied, the time had come for a change of leadership at HIA, in order “to ensure the cohesive execution of [the Association’s] upcoming initiatives.” Trojan continued stating the Association’s enthusiasm about the upcoming strategies aimed at drawing more attention to the hemp industry. However, even post-prohibition, there are still many challenges to tackle, like banking and digital marketing issues.
Furthermore, the Association also declared that it is going to deploy a new State Chapter Task Force. According to Membership Director and task force lead Sarah Gartner, the state-level reach of the HIA has margin for improvement. “Current chapters should be receiving more support from the national office and we need to build new chapters in every state, […]. To grow the hemp economy and support hemp professionals at every level we need a robust state by state strategy.” The April press release mentions the states where HIA is planning to open its Chapters: Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey and Wyoming. These four new Chapters would add to the already long list of HIA Chapters, already including strategically crucial divisions like the California, Florida and Pacific Northwest ones.