Kentucky Ag News

Commissioner Comer to keynote industrial hemp conference in Lexington


Special to Kentucky Agricultural News

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses and farmers, will host its annual conference Sept. 27-29 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington.

The three-day conference will feature Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, the keynote speaker, and expert speakers David Mitlin, Professor at Clarkson University; David Williams, agronomist at the University of Kentucky; Mike Fata, CEO of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods; Ethan Russo, M.D., medical director at Phytecs; John Roulac, CEO of Nutiva, plus many others. Focusing on the expansion of the hemp industry and market in North America, the conference will also feature hemp exhibits, networking opportunities, and a hemp farm tour.

Held for the first time in Kentucky, the 22nd annual conference occurs at a time when hemp is being cultivated in numerous research projects and farms throughout the state. Exceeding $620 million in retail sales, according to SPINS data and HIA estimates, hemp products are demonstrating significant market growth with 21.2 percent year-over-year growth for the category of hemp foods and body care products alone. Since its introduction in January 2015, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, S. 134, has garnered nine co-sponsors, including Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY).

For more information about the conference, including the full list of speakers and activities, visit the HIA website.