Patrick Atagi of the National Industrial Hemp Council hempindustrial.com
Leading authorities on hemp are set to gather next week in Portland, Oregon, in anticipation of learning more about upcoming regulations to the industry.
“Overall, attendees can expect to learn what is the law today,” said Patrick Atagi, chair of the Board of Directors of the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC), which is hosting this inaugural event.
NIHC formed shortly after the December enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, which declassified hemp as a controlled substance. Although hemp comes from the marijuana plant, by itself it does not have the same effect. Now hemp purveyors eagerly await guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on how it will be regulated.
Lowell Schiller, principal associate commissioner for FDA policy, will be the featured keynote speaker at the NIHC summit.
Industrial hemp pixabay
“People saw our speakers and registered immediately,” Atagi said, adding that the event just sold out this week. “People are waiting to hear from top policymakers who want to educate the public, and we are providing that venue.”
Other scheduled speakers include Ed Elfmann, a senior vice president with the American Bankers Association, who will lead a session called, “Banking and You – Understanding the current banking situation around industrial hemp, credit, loans, transactions and regulations,” according to a news release from the NIHC.
Representatives from Beveridge & Diamond, a law firm specializing in environmental issues, will discuss how to manage the legal framework in the quickly evolving hemp industry.
“Hemp represents a tremendous amount of potential business,” Atagi said. But without regulation, he added, “It is kind of like the Wild West. This summit is going to be cutting through the noise.”
“The intense interest in this meeting is our group is very professional. We want regulations. The consumer has a right to know truth in labeling,” Atagi said. “There is a very positive public opinion on hemp right now, and we want it to stay that way.”