Hemp Growers Looking to Establish Checkoff

The National Industrial Hemp Council and the Hemp Industries Association entered into an agreement to look into the possibility of establishing a marketing checkoff program for hemp. “Today is another step forward in the right direction for hemp farmers and consumers of hemp-related products,” says Patrick Atagi, board chair of NIHC. “A checkoff program would further legitimize a rapidly growing industry and will help hemp farmers compete on a level playing field with producers of other agricultural-related commodities.” Rick Trojan, President of the HIA, says, “This first-of-its-kind agreement creates a focus on gathering data and distributing education as hemp cultivation expands nationally.” The Hagstrom Report says the two organizations will form a working group with representatives from across the industry to discuss the details on how a hemp checkoff program should be structured and operate. The working group’s effort would guide the eventual proposal to USDA that will include industry analysis, the justification for the program, program objectives, and the impact on small businesses. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production in the U.S. and was signed into law by President Trump after the legislation made it through both chambers of Congress.