Hemp associations in U.S. state of Kentucky announce merger

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Two hemp groups in the U.S. state of Kentucky have merged in an effort to expand lobbying and educational activities and coordinate efforts with hemp organizations in other states, the groups have announced.

The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) and Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) say they are updating their brand identity and digital assets and have started recruitment to expand membership under the KYHA name. Former KYHIA President Tate Hall has assumed the presidency, with former KYHA President Katie Moyer serving the merged group as secretary.

KYHIA was a former chapter of the national Hemp Industries Association (HIA) which this July shut down its network of 13 state chapters amid financial difficulties, and says it is reorganizing.

“We value input from our farmers and stakeholders throughout the industry and my goal is to make sure their voices and concerns are acknowledged in both Frankfort and D.C.,” Moyer said following the merger announcement.

KYHA will operate under rules governing 501(c)(6) non-profit trade associations in the USA, and and look to capitalize on the state’s congressional leadership that has strongly supported development of the hemp industry in Kentucky, and helped to shape federal rules.

Lawmakers laud changes

Kentucky lawmakers welcomed the news. “The newly formed Kentucky Hemp Association will be a powerful voice for hemp in Frankfort as well as in D.C. I look forward to working with the KYHA on federal issues that we can improve our existing markets and open up new and exciting markets,” said Kentucky’s U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

“The hemp industry has had its share of obstacles at every turn, but I am confident that the new Kentucky Hemp Association will rise to the challenge and create an environment where hemp can flourish in the Bluegrass State,” U.S. House Rep James Comer, R-Ky., said, “It came as no surprise to me to see Kentucky Hemp pioneers band together to form a cohesive and powerful voice for Kentucky’s hemp farmers, processors, and manufacturers.

“Given the current hurdles facing the hemp industry, it is more important than ever before that Kentucky growers, processors, and universities are organized to tackle the challenges ahead,” Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said.

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