24th Annual HIA Conference Recap



HIACON 2017 was held in Lexington, Kentucky on September 8 - 11 in partnership this year with the Crop and Soil Societies and the University of Kentucky. We'd like to thank our partners the Crop and Soil Societies and UK for taking the lead in the recruitment of top-science speakers at HIACON. This is also the first year the HIACON hosted a full-size exhibition open to the public. Seventy guests came to experience the exhibition in addition to our regular registrant group. A total of 451 people were in attendance making this year another benchmark for HIACON.  

This year's Presenting Sponsor was CW Hemp and Premier Sponsor, CBD USA Grown. The annual event kicked off with the state chapter program meeting followed by the association's annual general meeting (AGM). State reports were given by chapter leaders from Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. 

The AGM opened the election which ran until Monday, September 11th at noon EST. Two ballot initiatives were passed designating one-member/one-vote and also enabled electronic voting for the association. We also welcomed two newly elected board members Joy Beckerman of Hemp Ace International and also Rick Trojan of Hemp Road Trip and re-election of HIA Vice President, Eric Pollitt of Global Hemp and also HIA Secretary, Tyler Frank of Hemptopia. Congratulations to our new and re-elected board members. 

The University of Kentucky's Dr. David Williams organized an outstanding Farm Tour along with the team from Atalo Holdings. Attendees were able to observe dozens of variety trials in action and learn about student led research on-site at the Spindletop Farm Campus at U.K. and observe some beautiful Victoria hemp growing in Winchester, Kentucky before heading over to the Atalo Holding's facilities for a processing tour. The day-long even wrapped with some great food and music by the Magnolia Boulevard Band on-site. The well-coordinated event, transportation and amenities would not have been possible without the support of the Title Sponsors: Atalo Holdings, Blue Circle Development, CV Sciences and GenCanna. 

On Sunday, the HIACON exhibit hall opened and educational sessions began featuring science, policy and industry tracks as well as a sponsored Hemp Talks stage featuring top-presentations from industry stakeholders. Ron Turco, Agriculture Professor of Purdue University and also member of the Crop and Soil Societies led the general session, followed by special guest Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, Ryan Quarrels. 20 sessions were presented by high-level speakers and experts through the day. (For a review of the HIACON 2017 schedule, click here. Presentations are only available to conference attendees and members of the HIA.) 

That evening, HIACON held it's annual awards dinner, which featured entertainment from Aviva Vuvuzela singer/songwriter who performed "Cannabis Car" and has written other other hemp-inspired music.  

The following individuals are recipient of HIA awards in 2017:

New West Genetics - Innovation Award

Bob Hoban, Hoban Law Group - Leadership Award

Morris Beegle, NoCo Hemp Expo - Event of the Year Award (new award)

Shaun Crew, Hemp Oil Canada - Lifetime Achievement Award

The final day of the HIACON was kicked off by the primary sponsor of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, H.R. 3530, Congressman James Comer (R-KY) who was also the first state Ag Commissioner to lead a hemp pilot program following Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill 2014. 27 sessions were presented by high-level speakers and experts through the day. 

Special thanks to Clark Heldman, Doug Fine, The Wonder Seed, Denver Hemp Honey, Dr. Bronners, Natures Path Organics, McCabe Law, Wrap Me Day Spa, Victory Hemp Foods, Ojai Energetics, New Earth Organics & Hydroponics, State of Maine LLC, Hempys, and Vital Hemp who donated to the Silent Auction this year, as a result $628.00 were raised for the new HIA Annual Fund. Also, we want to thank Envirotextiles and Hemptique for their support in curating the HIACON branded swag items.


Members can access presentations HERE 

HIACON attendees who are non-members may contact Erin Pully directly for access. Email her at memberservices@thehia.org

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