Our Ongoing Projects
This is where to find current initiatives of the PA Hemp Steering Committee. Leadership Team members oversee projects, and any committee member can sign up to help. Our projects are guided by our Key Focus Areas.
Hemp Services Directory
Lead: Cynthia Petrone-Hudock
The Hemp Services Directory is a centralized guide for hemp processors, testing labs, and manufacturers. Version 1.0 is already live, but efforts to add legal and bank resources are ongoing.
Members who can lend Excel, Data Collection, and Data Analysis skills to this project should inquire here.
Educational Materials & Outreach Programming
Leads: Carla Garzon and Ron Kander
Education gaps remain a large barrier to growth for the Industrial Hemp industry. To combat misinformation on the Cannabis Sativa plant, the Steering Committee has set aside time to generate factually accurate and easy to understand educational resources. While we work on this project, please visit our Resources page for 3rd party information.
Members who can lend Graphic Design, Academic Research, or Communication skills to material generation should inquire here.
We give a traveling Hemp 101 workshop to legislative bodies, law enforcement agencies, and investment entities. Please reach out if you know a group that needs hemp training!
Hemp Farmer Newsletter
Leads: Dan Summa and Ashley Walsh
To showcase and connect the hemp farming community, Dan and Ashley plan to create a quarterly newsletter to be distributed among PA Hemp Farmers. They'll focus on production information, regulatory updates, marketing tips, and the struggles and triumphs of hemp farming.
Members with Writing or Photography skills should contact them via PAHempFarmer@gmail.com
Planning for the 2023 Farm Bill has already begun, and it is imperative that the interests of hemp agriculture are represented in the bill. We are investigating a Grain and Fiber Hemp Exemption on a federal level that could eliminate background checks and compliance testing if a farmer is growing hemp only for grain and/or fiber. Details of the framework can be found at hempexemption.com
Due to the non-psychoactive nature of the stalk and seed of the hemp plant, the Committee supports a testing exception based on end use of each varietal.
Lead: Erica McBride Stark
The Committee also supports an expansion of the PA Office of Medical Marijuana into an office of Cannabis Management. This would allow the PA Department of Health to develop a regulatory framework for hemp-derived cannabinoid products to ensure public safety. Hemp cultivation and permitting would remain under the jurisdiction of the Deptartment of Agriculture.
Activists interested in working with Erica on this agenda should reach out here
Expanding Research Opportunities
As it stands, farmers must partner with established institutions to conduct research. We are working with the Department of Agriculture to open up opportunity for smaller private entities to conduct research to accelerate the hemp industry in PA.
Many State and Federal grants are not written in a way that includes eligibility for Hemp farmers and business people. We are advocating for more suitable funding options for the Hemp Industry, starting at the state level. By expanding language on existing grants and establishing more specialty grants, we can redirect funds into this growing industry.