Since it first began advocating for the legalization of hemp, AHPA’s Cannabis Committee has pushed for legal, informed access while also educating the industry about best practices for herbal products.
“At a time when cannabis didn’t garner much attention from other natural product trade groups, the newly established Cannabis Committee pushed AHPA to aggressively advocate for a legal pathway to market for cannabis products,” AHPA president Michael McGuffin said. “One of the Cannabis Committee’s first actions back in 2010 was to support federal legislation to legalize hemp production in the U.S., an effort that ultimately succeeded when the 2018 Farm Bill decriminalized hemp.”
Today the Committee continues these efforts, advocating for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its existing authority to create a legal pathway to market for hemp-CBD products. The committee also produces guidance and in-person and online educational events to help the cannabis industry understand the evolving legal landscape.
“When an herb experiences explosive growth, it attracts players with both short- and long-term interest,” Jane Wilson, AHPA’s director of program development and staff liaison to the Cannabis Committee. “Working to institute a level playing field through industry best practices helps ensure the cannabis market has a long future as a significant segment of the herb industry.”
The committee has experienced significant growth over the decade, from a handful of companies in 2010 to more than 140 companies today, made up of the most influential cannabis companies and legal partners working together to ensure a stable, long-term industry.
“Although we anticipated that the time had come for legitimization of cannabis products, it’s especially rewarding to see how much the industry and the AHPA Cannabis Committee have grown and evolved over the years,” Elan Sudberg, founding Cannabis Committee chair and CEO of Alkemist Labs, said. “The cannabis industry has benefited greatly from the committee’s leadership and the committee has benefited in turn from the extensive input of rapidly expanding membership.”
“The committee also continues to develop productive working relationships with a growing number of industry partners that share AHPA’s goal of providing informed consumer access to safe, high-quality cannabis products,” Asa Waldstein, the AHPA Cannabis Committee chair and vice president of operations and regulatory affairs at Advanced Extraction. “Working with these organizations helps create a unified and amplified voice for cannabis companies to advocate state and federal lawmakers and regulators.”