Hemp Grower reports

After withholding dues from its state chapters for the first six months of 2020, the HIA recently voted to disband its affiliate program, citing financial hardships from a lack of membership and COVID-19.

While the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has been a resounding voice throughout the industry for the past quarter century, the organization has recently come under fire for withholding payments from its state chapters and, shortly after receiving a complaint about it, dissolving them suddenly in July.

Jody McGinness, who became executive director for the organization in early July, tells Hemp Grower that earlier this year, the organization went through a “cash flow crisis” and needed to take immediate action to resolve it.

But some from the state chapters say troubles extend beyond this year and aren’t solely a result of the state affiliate program. Missing funds, a confusing membership portal and a lack of communication from the HIA have resulted in some chapters, like Kentucky, to recommend those considering membership hold off until the chapters receive clarity.

“Without a clear path forward, or visibility into our State Chapter’s viability or budget, we cannot properly plan outreach and advocacy campaigns. We are making a strong suggestion that members do not renew their dues until we can make light of what is going on,” the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) said in a statement. “With absolutely no input from the local or regional levels, we do not want to see your money go toward a wasteful initiative.”

(The statement has since been removed by the HIA and replaced with a different statement by the national organization. See HIA’s full statement here.)

Read the full report at. https://www.hempgrower.com/article/hemp-industries-association-dissolve-state-chapters/