After HIA Fallout, Kentucky Chapter Merges With Existing State Hemp Organization

The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association has merged with the Kentucky Hemp Association.

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September 17, 2020

After the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) voted suddenly to dissolve its state chapters in July, the Kentucky chapter recently announced it is merging with another organization.

The Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) has merged with the Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) in an organization that will assume the KYHA name. 

The HIA disbanded its chapter affiliates after it was unable to pay the dues owed to them. 

“Once the [HIA] national board disaffiliated with the KYHIA, our board voted unanimously to reorganize as the Kentucky Hemp Association,” said Jana Groda, vice president of the former KYHIA and newly formed KYHA, in a news release. “This move will give us independence and the flexibility to focus our support on Kentucky farmers and the industries they supply.”

RELATED: Inside the HIA’s ‘Cash Flow Crisis’ and How Its Dissolved Chapter Program Is Responding

The existing KYHIA president, Tate Hall, will continue as president of the merged association, while the former KYHA president, Katie Moyer, will join the board as secretary of the merged association.

“I’m excited to join forces with industry trailblazers in order to build a strong association with others inside the Commonwealth,” said Moyer, who is the founder of Kentucky Hemp Works and a member of the state’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Board. “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 [Kentucky] and D.C.”

The newly merged KYHA is a 501 (c)(6) non-profit trade organization, which will allow it to “coordinate efforts with other state organizations with the goal of building a strong American hemp industry for farmers and material manufacturers,” according to a news release.

Lawmakers expressed their support and enthusiasm for the merger in advancing the state’s hemp industry.

“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,” said Rep. James Comer, U.S. House Representative for Kentucky’s 1st District, in the news release. “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.”

Hall said he is optimistic the transition will strengthen the Kentucky hemp industry’s ability to lobby, educate, and bring 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,” Hall said. “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.”

KYHA is currently working on updating their brand identity and digital assets. Those interested in joining the new KHA can contact Aleah Rouse at info@kyhia.org for more information