The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), which I helped get on its feet in the 1990s, appears to be insolvent. Its state chapters are demanding dues owed to them, and a review of the finances. President Joy Beckerman was abruptly fired as President of HIA on March 19, and became a Director on the Board of U.S. Hemp Authority the next day. That organization has been accused of shady dealings as well.
This is just another chapter in HIA’s long history of hurting the hemp industry by mismanagement and lack of integrity, fooling courts and the public:
- It wrote the worst hemp law ever in California, SB 566 in 2013, designed to appear to legalize while actually not, and banning CBD production
- HIA killed off the birdseed market for hempseed in 1999
- Then in 2001 DEA legalized 95% of the industry with no max THC but HIA sued to stop it, killing the hemp food market for years (and almost taking Canadian hemp with it)
- In 2014 it tried to slow the expansion of CBD
Various people connected to HIA have long slandered, libeled, and defamed effective hemp pioneers and activists who don’t agree with its policies, or to help certain members. Since 2004 it appears it was protecting investments in Canadian hemp from U.S. hemp farmers, knowing that when legal Canada’s biggest customer would become its biggest competitor.
After threatening to sue HIA in August 2015, Beckerman was made its President and given its 2019 “Lifetime Achievement” award. She was quoted in Dope Magazine saying “We used to say it didn’t take any inputs, we used to shout it from the rooftops, ‘it doesn’t need this, it doesn’t need that,’ and frankly none of it was true!” Nevertheless, HIA’s latest initiative is an educational joint venture with a hemp media company.
HIA’s Hemp History Week appears largely abandoned this year, a shadow of the seed and soap promotion scheme it once was. Another HIA initiative capitalizing on today’s events is to highlight hemp companies in the 18th and 19th Centuries regarding their use of slaves, an unfortunate practice common in cotton, railroads, tobacco, and other labor-intensive endeavors.
For doing more damage to hemp than DEA could in its wildest dreams, HIA charges as much as $8,100 annually.