The Full Picture: Both State & National Hemp Advocacy Are Needed for Successful Policy Developm
June 18, 2021
In hemp’s evolution from contraband to national commodity, hard work is needed at both the state and national levels. Advances made in key states can serve as examples for other states and help to incrementally build the industry from the inside out.
At the same time, effective strategy at the national level is also crucial to ensure a stable and comprehensive national legal structure for the crop. Questions of legal definitions like 0.3% THC, interstate commerce, export and market development all trickle down to the states from the national level through decisions made by Congress, USDA, DEA, FDA or DOJ.
To be an effective advocate in this arena takes a skill set that Courtney N. Moran – Attorney, Legislative Strategist & Lobbyist – has honed over her journey with hemp since the early state pilot programs. She is arguably one of the most well-versed and well-connected hemp legal advocates out there, with part of her efforts on the state level and part in the national arena.
State-Level Advocacy with OIHFA:
In the state of Oregon, Courtney is president and lobbyist of the Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association. Founded in 2015 by herself and a group of pioneer Oregon hemp farmers, OIHFA is a non-profit working with the state legislature to pass laws protecting the interests of the state’s hemp farmers, processors, and stakeholders. Since then, it has passed numerous landmark pieces of legislation establishing the cornerstone of the state’s hemp program.
With Courtney’s leadership, track record and key relationships, OIHFA is on the front lines of hemp policy development in Oregon, serving on numerous work groups and committees to negotiate and strategize the passage of key bills.
National State-Level Advocacy with AgHS:
Agricultural Hemp Solutions (AgHS) is Courtney’s national lobbying firm, through which she works in states throughout the country as well as with lawmakers in D.C (see more below). She works closely with stakeholders around the country such as with IND Hemp in Montana to pass HB 396 (2021) for hemp animal feed. She also worked with Palmetto Harmony in S.C, Ancient Nutrition in MO, and grassroots advocates in WI and AK where she strategized and authored laws establishing their state hemp programs.
Federal-Level Advocacy with AgHS:
On a federal level, as Chief Legislative Strategist for AgHS, Courtney works directly with lawmakers in D.C. to solve problems of national interest to the industry, such as the highly problematic 0.3% THC definition of hemp and the legal status of work-in-progress hemp derivatives.
As co-author of the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp nationally, she worked closely with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to negotiate and draft the official language. Her track record and high-level working relationships in D.C. mean that policymakers trust her analysis of the issues. One of the most important roles a good lobbyist plays is educator – lawmakers must be educated on processes they know very little about, so that they make good decisions that carry the industry forward.
Her intimate knowledge of hemp’s issues along with her strategic weaving of the relationships, tools and tactics of successful advocacy cement her status as the leading expert on U.S. hemp law.
It’s an exciting time for hemp as more steps are taken by states and nationally to bring it closer to commodity status. Stakeholders nationwide are invited to provide their influence to the process by joining the AgHS national campaigns.
The Crossroads Campaign for 1% THC addresses the urgent need for Congress to upgrade the definition of hemp from 0.3% to 1% THC. The Work-in-Progress Campaign works to align Congressional intent and DEA rules in order to protect the hemp supply chain from DEA overreach.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your campaign packet today and become part of the historic transformation of hemp from contraband to a respected agricultural commodity.