HIA new executive director on COVID-19: ‘We hit a real cash-flow crisis point earlier in the year’

New Hemp Industries Association Executive Director Jody McGinness is coming into his role during a time of great change.

The executive director role has been vacant since the departure of Colleen Lanier at the end of 2019. Months later, HIA president Joy Beckerman left abruptly under less-than-friendly circumstances. Meanwhile, some state chapters have asked the organization for their money back.

McGinness’ appointment, announced earlier this month, came after a monthslong search with nearly 100 qualified candidates.

It’s all not as rocky as it seems, McGinness said.

“I think there a tendency to misunderstand the general commitment of volunteer leaders to the benefit of the organization,” he said.

“So what I mean by that is, we’ve got great chapters that are doing excellent work in a number of states and we look forward to continuing to partner with them.”

In this interview with Hemp Industry Daily, McGinness talks about:

  • Plans to team up with other organizations to explore the establishment of a national hemp checkoff program.
  • How he sees the mission of HIA now that hemp is federally legal.
  • How COVID-19 has impacted the organization.

“We’re like every other organization in the in the country, and due to this economic contraction, we hit a real cash-flow crisis point earlier in the year before I started,” he said, before praising board members for taking steps to address the issue.

McGinness most recently served as the head of fundraising for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for the legalization of adult-use, high-THC cannabis.

3 comments on “HIA new executive director on COVID-19: ‘We hit a real cash-flow crisis point earlier in the year’
    • Connie Pascal on

      While Jodie is new to the hemp world, he was hired for his skills in directing non-profits. The HIA as an organization is qualified to speak for the hemp industry because its members are working hemp farmers, producers, retailers, and advocates.

  1. hempman on

    Despite becoming legal, some states are taking great strides at hurting the hemp industry by making smoking hemp illegal, and the USDA allowing the DEA to get involved, as though it is Marijuana, and keeping the .3% testing requirements, which makes absolutely no sense. Lobbyists from the cigarette company have friends in high places.


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