We are 30 days into session in many states and although I am writing this article weeks ahead of time, I can tell you that things are heating up in February and I’m sure we are seeing many of the hostile pieces of legislation we predicted in our January article. Please join the fight now and learn about what’s happening in your state’s legislature!
Since you read our last article, a lot has changed. We can anticipate that legislation (bills) has been filed in many states in the month of January with the goal of overregulating or banning hemp derivatives. With that being said, many of those bills have probably made their first, maybe even their second committee appearances by the time you read this. That means we have even less time to work, and less influence over their trajectory. We call this phenomenon “gaining momentum.” As bills make their way through their committees, the further along they get the less opportunity and probability there is to change their outcome. Once a committee votes favorably on a bill the next committee views the previous vote as a marker for validity and support.
Over the years working in advocacy, we have seen this pattern time and time again. It’s rare to see last minute amendments, and is far more common to see standalone legislation that can be crafted by the bill sponsor over time to achieve their desired result while also including the thoughts of others in the legislature. These issues are complex, and require a lot of insight and so it is important to hear from many sources. Our goal as a trade association is to be one of those voices and protect our industry. This is not possible without support from our fellow industry operators and grassroots advocates. This is why we continue to do outreach, why we continue to educate consumers and business owners alike, and why we strive to represent the industry in the most professional manner possible.
If you have never involved yourself in your state’s government, now is the time! We say this all the time, but remember “if you’re not at the table,you’re on the menu.” This simple quote hopefully rings true in your mind and helps you understand that if you don’t seek to have your voice heard, no one will be listening to the silence and think that is a signal to stop seeking further regulation or even criminal laws to ban these products. Have your voice heard and join us in fighting for hemp products!!!
We encourage everyone to join The American Healthy Alternatives Association (AHAA), or one of our many state associations to get involved in the fight and learn more about what is happening in your state’s legislature.