In this episode, we discuss the beginning of the Hemp Industries Association in 1994 in Arizona. Before the HIA was established, there was the True Hemp Industry Alliance (THIA), first established in 1992, who called the meeting where HIA name was created. THIA created a certification program called the True Hemp seal certification – to test and confirm products being labeled as hemp were 100% hemp, and preventing unscrupulous players from mislabeling products. This group pooled together funds to import millions of tons of hemp textiles into the USA.
Like any new movement, there were competing groups, and trying to gather everyone on one platform was not easy. Chris Boucher discusses some of the issues in the “beginning” of hemp’s reformation – the difficulty confirming that imported Chinese hemp was truly hemp and not mixed with cotton or other fibers. It wasn’t without obstacles as competing certifications were created, debate raged on using the hemp plant leaf versus those that didn’t want the stigma attached, and police threatened arrest for serving hemp seeds at festivals.
For the past 3 decades, Chris has fought to raise awareness of hemp and it’s benefits. His stories provide insight into where the industry started and some of the battles fought along the way.
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“Chris has good perspective on how things have evolved from the early nineties up until really today.” – Morris Beegle
- Why Mary Kane’s article on hemp has been scrubbed from the internet
- The thought process behind the creation of the original startup in the true hemp industry alliance
- Why there were two competing hemp industry alliances formed in the early 1990s
- What is the hemp industry leaf debate
- How the hemp industry alliance collaborated with FIT
- How the Hemp Industry Alliance began
- What is Farmtiva’s main focus
- The current regulatory environment for hemp in California
- How hemp regulation in California differs from other states
- Why farmers in Kentucky are mad at Mitch McConnell
- The biggest opportunity for the hemp industry today
What’s going on with HIA today
- Updates on Hemp History Week 2020
- Why Hemp History Week is being rebranded to Hemp Week
“I totally forgot that having Tibetian prayer flags behind you for an announcement that goes out to the whole country of China is probably the worst idea ever.” – Rick Trojan
- Learn more about the Seventh Annual NoCo Hemp Expo
- Connect with Chris Boucher:
“We wanted to see hemp like Cotton Inc and we wanted to see hemp like the linen council, so we used those as models. This thing was bigger than all of us, we’re like hemp’s gonna save the world!” – Chris Boucher