East Tennessee Hemp Industries Association discusses industry changes in new year

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn (WJHL)- The East Tennessee Chapter of the Hemp Industries Association had a meeting in Jonesborough Saturday afternoon.

About a dozen hemp farmers and hemp retailers came out to the meeting to learn more about growing and selling the cannabis plant.

The Hemp Industry Association is a nationally formed organization bringing awareness to the hemp industry.

“They’ve turned into a group with a lot of lawyers and lobbyists and things like that that can help us push for regulations and things like that to help better the industry,” said East Tennessee HIA Chapter member, D.W. Cooper.

During East Tennessee’s HIA Chapter meeting Saturday, members discussed the 2020 season and answered questions about what can be expected on the state level when it comes to growing and manufacturing.

“The overview of this meeting is the 2020 vision of the industry. We have a lot of changes going on right now, there’s been tremendous growth over the year. So you see the USDA stepping in, you see the FDA stepping in, so there’s going to be a lot of regulations coming into the table,” said Cooper.

Pharmacist and CBD shop owner, Kelly Snyder, hoped to get clearer answers when it comes to those regulations.

“There’s not a clear cut regulation from the FDA or the USDA, and obviously we all want to remain compliant, especially those in the industry that are trying to help the retailers and consumers,” said Snyder.

Snyder said the East Tennessee Hemp Industries Association not only helps him run his business but it connects him with other people in the industry.

“They go a long way to try and help the farmer, they go a long way to try to help the industry as a whole, the retailers, and everybody in between. I mean there’s a broad spectrum. So to speak with people in this industry and we all need to band together and help each other. Without each other we won’t thrive,” said Snyder.

According to D.W. Cooper, Tennessee has the largest chapter of Hemp Industries Association members nationally.

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