Come Together: MN Hemp Association Forms

On Thursday of this past week, about 40 individuals gathered from across the Hemp Industry to discuss the formalization of the Minnesota Hemp Association. Led by CoFounder and Association Counsel Zach Robins, the meeting agenda proceeded in the usual way with introductions around the table, and some new business – including the first formal written action signed to secure banking services for the MHA.

Normally a rather boring step, the Board actually had some trouble setting up an account because of the word ‘hemp’ in their name. A small victory, but substantial in that it simplifies the path for other legitimate hemp businesses going forward.

Stay tuned to Canna.MN – we’ll be featuring banking institutions that are proactive in developing hemp business accounts. -ed

The second agenda item concerned electing Officers to the Board and courting new members. Currently sitting at 6 Board Members, but interested in adding more.

If interested in Membership and/or a Board position, please contact MHA President Charlie Levine.

Structure of Membership: Voting Members ($500/annual Membership), Government Fees ($300/year), Non-Voting Members, Farmers, Manufacturers, Processors, Retailers. Membership fees are based off of sales, capping at $3000 for $10M in sales.

Attendees were eager to jump into the largest topic – a merger of the MN Hemp Association with the newly forming MN Hemp Farmer’s Association. A passionate conversation emerged from this question almost immediately, with consensus around the mutual benefits of a merger, but general reluctance to get into the weeds of what such merger would look like.

“I would love to add this to an agenda where it’s really focused, because in talking with 6 or 7 of you, I’m hearing yes yes yes, and I want to make sure we all have time to discuss that. I agree it’s high priority, because a lot of our priorities align, so why throw money and time after the same efforts, and then appear unglued to the Legislation we’re appealing to.” Sarah Wellington – Founder MN Hemp Farmers’ Association.

The general conversation continued into an analysis of the different approaches each group is taking, but new issues came up quickly, and the group found themselves sharing information and discovering more complexity.

The first particular urgent issue raised concerned a Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill, presently in conference committee, which includes a Senate Floor Amendment identical to Senate File 2452, which intends to regulate the “sale of certain cannabinoid products”.

“It is of the opinion of the MHA, that the bill, while well intended, goes too far in attempting to prescribe labeling requirements.

This Amendment would have benefitted from a hearing which would have incorporated testimony from relevant parties who could have assisted in drafting more finely tuned language.

The MHA hopes that this bill can be postponed until the 2020 session so that interested parties can participate in a fruitful and ongoing discussion around the proper language to include in such a bill.”