Willie Nelson, New Belgium Brewing funding new hemp farming campaign

Willie Nelson’s cannabis company is joining with Vote Hemp and New Belgium Brewing to promote hemp cultivation.

The new American Hemp Campaign announced plans Tuesday to support changes to laws around commercial hemp production at the state and national levels.

Vote Hemp, a national advocacy group, will lead the campaign. Organizers have not said how much New Belgium and GCH, Willie Nelson’s cannabis company, plan to spend on the effort.

The American Hemp Campaign will seek funding from additional cannabis companies as well.

New Belgium – maker of The Hemporer beer, which contains hemp flavors – says it was inspired to fund the American Hemp Campaign after encountering issues around getting nonintoxicating hemp components in its beer.

“The regulatory hurdles to get to market just seemed outrageously outdated and onerous,” New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer said in a statement.

Vote Hemp says the new campaign will focus on the economic benefits of hemp production, not just the health benefits of the plant itself.

“Lifting our nation’s outdated restrictions on domestic hemp production will fuel job creation across several business sectors and provide family farmers with a valuable new crop,” Eric Steenstra, Vote Hemp’s co-founder and president, said in a statement.