The American Healthy Alternatives Association at the time of this draft is enveloped in some of the hardest legislative battles this industry has ever experienced. When this article reaches you in early March, several States will be in Legislative session, some of them will be getting close to wrapping up, others in the middle of session, and others like Florida will be just beginning. I have preached in my articles in the past about paying attention, joining the fight, and contributing financially, but now is the time when we need ACTION. The industry needs you to step up to the plate, have your voice heard, and hit a home run on behalf of your company, employees, and consumers. As an industry made up of small businesses we will never be able to match many of our opponents dollar for dollar, but we can show our strength in the numbers of employees and consumers who would be impacted if negative legislation were to ban or over-regulate these products.
There are millions of people who earn a living because of hemp-derived products, and tens of millions who consume these products nearly daily. We can not let our opponents slip terrible language into bills at the last minute when no one is watching, we must remain vigilant and be ready to defend our industry at any moment. We have worked with so many advocates, professional lobbyists, small business owners, and consumers over the last couple of years and we can not let those relationships go cold. As an industry, we must fight for each other even harder than we might fight for ourselves. Sure, there is a selfishness to fighting for our own business, for your own right to consume these products, but because of the nature of democracy and this industry, every bit of fighting you do for yourself will also benefit millions of people just like you.
As a quick legislative update (and again at the time of this draft) Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona all have active bills that either ban or heavily regulate these products in their legislatures. I can assure you by the time this reaches you, numerous other states will be facing the same problem. If you have a business in this space, or you are a consumer who happened to pick up this magazine in your local store, we need everyone that wants to fight for their access to these products to search for your local state’s hemp association or healthy alternatives association and contact them! They will love to hear from you, hear your story, and what this means to you. Your story will be unique and important to them and they will benefit from your perspective.
Remember, democracy only works for you when you engage in the process. Otherwise, your voice and your perspective will never be heard. The time for laissez-faire advocacy is over and the time for well-executed action is now!