Patrick Atagi has been named President and CEO of the U.S. National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC).
NIHC comprises a group of international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals led by Atagi, a specialty crop grower in Nyssa, Oregon. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting new industry entrants, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications.
NIHC this year took the lead in drafting language for the Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act, which would change the statutory definition of hemp to 1.0% delta-9 THC. NIHC has also worked on legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to make CBD not just a dietary supplement but also an ingredient in food.
NIHC is also an official government partner through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Access Program, a public-private partnership in which the USDA matches industry funds to promote U.S. commodities in the global marketplace.
The NIHC late last year was awarded $200,000 from the USDA to promote U.S. hemp abroad through research and marketing of products and brands.
Atagi served as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Agriculture during the George W. Bush administration. He was also previously Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs at the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA); Executive Director of the NWPCA Political Action Committee; Director at the American Chemistry Council; Secretariat for the World Chlorine Council; and Director at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
NIHC operates based on annual memberships that range from $60 for consumer grassroots advocates to $30,000 for companies whose turnover is more than $10 million.
The organization’s 2021 Hemp Business Summit is set for Nov. 14-16 in Washington, D.C.