Founded in 2014, the National Hemp Association aims to get hemp accepted in our society.
The association’s mission is to help connect all elements of hemp production in order to create a more effective industry. That means building communication between hemp farmers, processors, manufacturers and investors from across the hemp industry. The National Hemp Association’s big goal is to get the hemp industry to a place where it can impact policymakers, who control legalization.
Ministry of Hemp had the opportunity to speak to Zav Paiss, the executive director of the National Hemp association about his plans for the future of hemp in the United States. Zav is also one of the core founders of this association and he remains passionate about removing the prohibition of hemp.
Zav Paiss has had a lifetime in sustainability. He has worked as a sustainability educator and consultant for around 35 years and has provided the best options for countless organizations in reducing their carbon footprint. Zav has worked in many areas of sustainability and has contributed to the improvement of many of our society’s harmful habits.
“I’ve worked in areas such as renewable energy, urban agriculture, alternative transportation, and health, organic foods,” Zav told us.
It was through his work in sustainability that Zav discovered hemp and its benefits. He told us that it was around five years ago that he was first introduced to the industrial benefits of hemp.
“[I] was amazed at how it could provide a sustainable alternative for so many products and industries,” he said.
When hemp farming became legal in Colorado in 2012, Zav sought out the people who had made this possible.
“I wanted to get involved,” he said.
The group who were behind the initial bill that legalized the farming of hemp in Colorado were loosely formed, but all were experts in the hemp plant. Zav offered them his services as a professional who has worked with many associations and was able to organize the group into an official organization.
Originally names the Rocky Moutain Hemp Association, Zav’s group continued their tireless work towards the legalization of hemp. However, as they were only focused on Colorado, which has already seen hemp legalized, Zav realized that his group was missing vital opportunities to help other states pass the hemp legalization bill as well.
“We realized there was a vacuum at the national level,” he said, “as we were getting calls and emails from all over the country. So we decided to take it a step further.”
Thus the founding of the National Hemp Association in 2014, which now works to improve the hemp industry across the whole of the United States.
Zev is particularly passionate about hemp and its benefits due to his work in environmental studies. Hemp can be a much more sustainable option for many of our everyday uses, as it is better for the environment from the moment it is planted in the ground. Not only that, but the quality of hemp materials is often greater than those we currently use meaning clothing, garments, and fabrics made from hemp will last longer and need to be replaced less.
Hemp has been used for centuries across the world for various different vital applications, from rope to clothing. Zav used this historical research to better understand how beneficial hemp could be for our modern needs.
“As I looked more into it, I realized how many products could be made from hemp that wasn’t being utilized today,” he said. “That’s when I realized I could get into this and help introduce [hemp] to many different industries.”
Although hemp has been prohibited in the United States for decades, it is still being used regularly in other countries across the world. Canda grows hemp seeds and regularly produces hemp oil products, due to its medicinal purposes whereas China has used hemp fiber for centuries and it is the basis of their textile industry.
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Many other countries even use hemp in their farming for animal feed as it is very nutritional and can be rotated easily. Hemp plants will grow back fully in a case of months, as opposed to how long it may take other crops to grow.
Hemp is much better for all aspects of the farming industry and if legalized in the United States it would create a lot more jobs for our farmers. Many in the farming industry are not seeing any profits from their crops, but hemp has been proven to be very profitable and rotational. Hemp will also contribute to repairing our farmlands as even the roots work to repair the land, and hemp fields do not require any pesticides or chemicals.
Hemp would be greatly beneficial to our farmers, our economy and our atmosphere and it is this information that the National Hemp Association seeks to become public knowledge.
As Zav claims the legalization of hemp could lead to so many benefits for our industries.
“The Industrial Hemp Farming Act could be the biggest bill that Congress can pass to bring positive economic and environmental changes,” he told us.
“This act will create jobs in multiple industries – from farming, manufacturing, to even retail.”
Retail is one of the areas within the hemp industry that has seen great changes in Zav’s time.
“There’s been a lot of hemp brand popping up,” he said.
Many of these brands are small companies that are working to produce a range of hemp-based items in all areas including food, cosmetics, and apparel.
Hemp has been proven to be a brilliant material to work with and it will create high quality, sustainable and durable products regardless of what field they are in. Hemp has wonderful benefits for the skin, meaning it is a brilliant option for body care ranges and can be made into strong yet comfortable fabrics for clothing.
Zav told us about a startup company in his home base of Colorado that utilizes the whole range of hemp-based products such as CBD capsules for sale currently available. Hemp Box sends samples of hemp products from a range of businesses to customers every month, giving them an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of this plant as well as supporting local economies.
Despite all of the benefits the legalization of hemp can provide, issues still arise. Many articles have been reporting recently that hemp farmers in Tennesse are giving up on the crop after trialing it for a year.
Zav says that these kinds of failures are to be expected in this growing industry.
“There needs to be an understanding that we are still in the research and development phase with hemp,” he said. “The crop was last harvested in the US back in the mid-1900s, so there’s a lot of things we need to relearn.”
Zav expressed that farmers need to understand the risks that are still present when planting hemp, and this is what we witnessed in the trials in Tennesse.
He claims that there are two major reasons that farmers in Tennesse didn’t take to hemp, despite its benefits on both their economy and land.
“First is the delays caused by the DEA, which delayed the planting period by 1–2 months for the farmers,” he claims. “Tennessee also experienced a ridiculous amount of rain last year. Hemp does not require a lot of water and that much water actually stunted the growth of the crop.”
Unlike other farming crops, hemp requires less land, water, and chemicals to grow which is why it is such a sustainable option. Despite the failures in Tennesse, Zav claims that hemp farming will be given another chance. States like Colorado and Kentucky are actually increasing their cultivation of hemp and are starting to test it out as a farming crop.
Tests like these ones as well as the constant pressure from the public are the things that will change the law regarding hemp, Zav believes. In his time in this industry, he has already seen so much change. He told us that there has been a huge increase in the activity surrounding hemp and more and more people are pressuring state legislators to change the law.
He claims that soon there will be more than 30 states who will have passed the bill legalizing hemp.
“Although we’re not fully there yet, we’ve made steady progress at the federal level,” he said.
A benefit of the constant pressure to legalize hemp is the research it brings. There is so much research available nowadays into the benefits of hemp as a crop, material, and medicine as well as some unexpected uses in obscure industries.
“There is always going to be a shadow hanging around hemp until it’s fully legalized,” Zav told us. He claims that the industry will face a lot of challenges before the passing of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act.
In the meantime, he remains positive about the future of hemp in the US.
“I’m most excited about the potential use of industrial hemp as a replacement of fossil fuel,” Zav said. “Anything you can make out of fossil fuels, you can make out of hemp.”
Cbd Oil Adviser would like to thank Zav Paiss for his time and we urge our readers to support the NHA by donating here.