LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) and the Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) announced Wednesday the merger of their two associations to establish a unified state-focused hemp organization. The KYHIA is the surviving corporation but the merged associations will operate under the Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) name. The existing KYHIA president, Tate Hall, will continue as president of the merged association, and the former KYHA president, Katie Moyer, will join the board as secretary of the merged association.
The KYHIA was a former chapter of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). In July, the HIA disaffiliated all 13 of their state chapters, including the Kentucky chapter, over a failure to pay dues owed to the states. Jana Groda, Vice President of the former KYHIA and newly formed KYHA said, “Once the National Board disaffiliated with the KYHIA, our board voted unanimously to reorganize as the Kentucky Hemp Association. This move will give us independence and the flexibility to focus our support on Kentucky farmers and the industries they supply.”
As an independent organization, the KYHA will retain its 501 (c)(6) non-profit trade association status and will coordinate efforts with other state organizations with the goal of building a strong American hemp industry for farmers and material manufacturers.
Kentucky’s state and federal officials are supportive of the change and welcomed the creation of a grassroots-based leadership group for Kentucky’s hemp industry.
“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 Senator Rand Paul.
U.S. House Rep James Comer, R-Ky., said, “As a leader in the movement to legalize industrial hemp, 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. 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.”
“Kentucky is well-known for its leadership on hemp policymaking,” Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said. “We are glad the Kentucky Hemp Association is reorganizing from the hemp fields of the commonwealth and helping advocate for the future of this crop. 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.”
As the KYHA establishes their association, they are joined by Katie Moyer, a hemp processor and member of the KY Hemp Advisory Board.
“I’m excited to join forces with industry trailblazers in order to build a strong association with others inside the commonwealth,” Moyer said. “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.”
KYHA‘s leadership is optimistic that this transition is a strong move to further support their efforts to lobby, educate and bring all stakeholders together.
“We are proud to represent our industry as the Kentucky Hemp Association and do so with unanimous support from our board and members. We feel our team has become much stronger through this newly formed organization. We look forward to this new endeavor and will continue to work tirelessly to support Kentucky hemp farmers, processors, and other industry stakeholders into the future,” said Tate Hall, president.
KYHA is currently working on updating their brand identity and digital assets. Stakeholders interested in joining the new Kentucky Hemp Association should contact Aleah Rouse at [email protected] for more information.