Inside the Capitol

Lobby Day at MN State Capital

March 5th, 2020 will be remembered for being the first day the Minnesota Hemp Association sponsored a lobby day. It was really fun. But it took sacrifice and believing in each other that everything will work out if we put the work in.

I showed up late to the MN Hemp Association Press Conference, which I kinda regret, but my schedule was challenging in the morning. So I got to the State Capitol and the conference had already started.

When I stepped in the room, John Strohfus, of Field Theory Hemp, was speaking on camera. Behind him were 15-20 people who feel strongly that the MN Hemp Association can work to change the laws around hemp for the better.

MHA Press Conference

Sara Kietzer, of Journey Organics, is one of those people. She did a great job sharing her story as a cultivator and a retailer in Mankato, MN. Visit Journey Organics the next time you are looking for CBD and Hemp Products in Mankato, MN.

Josh Maslowski, of Stigma Hemp, also shared the stage after being rushed into the press conference following several meetings with key legislators. Josh’s brand is an upscale, premier brand with a showroom near Target Field in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Hemp Association Press Conference

The leaders behind this press conference were the team at Blunt Strategies. The female-owned government and public relations firm, led by Leili Fatehi and Laura Monn Ginnsburg, played a significant role in organizing and scheduling the meetings with legislators. Additionally, their team educated individuals, like me, who showed up to speak in favor of the hemp bills being circulated.

I felt a little bit lost, but I think that’s a common feeling when you’re in a new industry. This is my second year in the industry and I’m pledging to get more involved at a legislative level.

After a frantic lunch, which ended up with me securing the final speaker for the CannaDay Growers Forum. I hopped on the train and made my way back to the capital because I had a 3:00 pm appointment with Senator Scott Dibble. (I knew nothing about the Senator, but I should have done some research)

Meeting with Senator Dibble

I showed up to his office right at 3:00 pm and he was ready for me five minutes later. I found out during the meeting that Senator Dibble sponsored the Medical Marijuana bill that was passed in 2014, so he was happy to discuss the benefits of hemp.

He easily allowed me to get through my talking points:

  • Industry Growth
  • Food and Beverage
  • Labeling Laws
  • Restrictions
Field Theory Hemp

The Senator had legitimate questions about why farmers were growing so much CBD rich hemp and not very much hemp fiber, hemp food (for animals and people). This year we need to grow the demand for hemp goods across textiles, paper, and food.