The newly-created Federation of International Hemp Organizations (FIHO) will finalize its first-ever board of directors at an inaugural general meeting this Friday, Nov. 18 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The group, which announced it was forming last year and held an organizational meeting in March, has said it will address key issues that affect the industry worldwide by interfacing with relevant international bodies.
A first priority is to work toward the removal of hemp and hemp extracts from the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, FIHO has said.
In addition to the board elections, FIHO will hear reports from several committees and address other matters related to the group’s formalization, according to the Nov. 18 agenda.
FIHO will also promote the production, processing, marketing and trade of hemp; facilitate information sharing; identify emerging industry issues; develop position papers; coordinate the development of research and standards; engage in networking and outreach; and promote innovation and technology for hemp production, according to organizational documents.
Product and process standards, crop protection, and standards for maximum chemical residue levels, seed registration, and maximum THC levels for hemp flowers and finished goods are among the many pressing issues identified by the initiative, which plans to interface with the UN’s Committee on Narcotic Drugs; the World Health Organization; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; and the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization on matters related to that agency’s Codex Alimentarius, internationally recognized standards for food production and safety.
FIHO also will work on environmental issues and represent the hemp industry before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is under the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization.
Members of an interim board set up to establish FIHO are now seeking election to two-year positions as the organization formalizes its structure. They are:
- Officers: Ted Haney, President & CEO at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance, president; Daniel Kruse, President of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), vice chairman; Patrick Atagi, President & CEO at the National Industrial Hemp Council of America, treasurer; and Hongliang Ding of the China Hemp Alliance, deputy general secretary.
- Other board members: Lorenzo Rolim, president of the Latin American Industrial Hemp Association; Lorenza Romanese, managing director of the European Industrial Hemp Association; Keith Jones, Chairman of the board at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance; Kyle Bingham, President of the Texas Hemp Growers Association; Michael Bronstein, Executive Director, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp; Hunter Buffington, National Industrial Hemp Council of America; Gaurav Dixit, general secretary, Uttarakhand Hemp Association (India); Jason Fung, Deputy General Secretary, China Hemp Alliance; Joseph Hickey Sr., Kentucky Hemp Association; Charles Kovess, secretary, Australian Industrial Hemp Alliance; and Rohit Sharma, president, Indian Industrial Hemp Association.
Under FIHO bylaws, the board can include a maximum of 15 persons.
FIHO has established five membership tiers under the following annual fee structure:
- Supranational and national hemp organizations with minimum 150 members – $/€16,000
- Small supranational and national hemp organizations with 25-149 members – $/€8,000
- Subnational hemp organizations with 25-149 members – $/€4,000
- Companies and individuals – $/€16,000
- Governments, research institutes, and non-hemp organizations – $/€4,000
Those rates are discounted 50% in the Federation’s first year of operation.
FIHO is organized as a Canadian not-for-profit corporation based in Alberta.