Institute for Advanced Learning and Research using collaboration and science as it leads the growing industry to a sustainable future
The new era of reduced hemp regulation has seen the versatile plant skyrocketing in popularity in a myriad of industrial uses. But the hemp industry itself is still effectively in its infancy and has
experienced growing pains. Helping this industry mature around science, sound business principles, and high standards is a primary focus of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and the Southeast Hemp Association. Their signature event, the annual Industrial Hemp Summit, was held virtually this week.
“Building the U.S. Industrial Hemp Industry is like putting together a 5,000-piece puzzle blindfolded and with the pieces constantly shifting,” said Marty Clemons, Board Chair, Southeast Hemp Association. “It is imperative that we collaborate in a professional and transparent manner to create a sustainable industry.“
With the theme of One Industry United, the fourth annual Industrial Hemp Summit was held Feb. 22-23 with a focus specifically on building the supply chain and market creation for industrial hemp food, fiber and flower. Approximately 230 participants representing 28 states and Canada attended the fast-paced, high-quality, two-day event with live access to sessions, the opportunity to participate in Q&A chats with expert speakers, and the chance to engage in potential virtual networking opportunities. Previous events were held in person at IALR, and plans are to return to an in-person event in 2022.
“The summit highlighted innovation in the industry, as well as the resources and infrastructure necessary to move the industry forward,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of the IALR. “We have always prided ourselves on the quality of the speakers and the panelists that we’ve engaged. This year, while virtual, was no exception.”
A multitude of leaders and experts in the hemp industry served as panelists and speakers, including Chase Hubard, Eric Steenstra, Erin Williams, Rod Kight, Volker Bornemann, and Rebecca Hobden. Topics ranged from financing, state regulations, legal policy, genetics and testing to market opportunities and general industry analyses.