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For Immediate Release
Monday, October 31, 2005

CONTACT:
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671 or Johanna Schultz 707-937-6234

Makers of Hemp Products Meet in San Francisco
Nov. 3-4

Assemblyman Mark Leno to be Honored for Leadership on CA Hemp Legislation, AB 1147; Hemp Food Retail Sales Jump 50% Since Last Year's Hemp Food Federal Court Victory

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Members of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) from across North America will hold their annual meeting at the Ramada Plaza Hotel located at Market & 8th St. in San Francisco, November 3-4. During the conference experts will make presentations on the latest hemp products including composites for buildings and automobiles, textiles, foods, paper and personal care, along with in-depth discussion on legal and legislative initiatives to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp whose legal status only allows importation of the versatile crop.

The HIA will also honor Assemblyman Mark Leno on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 4PM for his introduction of legislation earlier this year that if passed into law would permit California farmers to grow industrial hemp. “Assemblyman Mark Leno is educating legislators about how California businesses could benefit to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars each year by avoiding costly imports of industrial hemp for products manufactured in the Golden state,” says Candi Penn, Executive Director of the HIA. “By giving farmers the right to grow non-psychoactive industrial hemp, California farmers could earn extra income while saving California businesses on the cost of raw materials.” Mr. Leno’s bill, AB 1147, is still in committee and is expected to be voted on in January. On the federal level, new legislation in Congress to allow U.S. farmers to grow hemp will also be discussed.

HIA member companies will review the trends and marketing efforts that are causing continued strong growth in retail sales for hemp foods and body care products. Results from a recent industry survey by Leson & Associates shows that annual retail sales of hemp foods increased during a 12-month period in 2004/05 by 50% to approximately $12 million per year. This follows annual growth of more than 60% during the 2003/04 period. During 2004/05 retail sales of hemp body care products grew by an estimated 15% to about $40 million per year. In 2004 the HIA won a three-year-long court battle against the Drug Enforcement Administration to protect sales of hemp foods in the United States.

12th Annual HIA Convention Schedule

Thursday, November 3
7–8 AM: Set Up, Registration, Exhibits, Silent Auction
8–10 AM: Opening Reception, Sales, Silent Auction Sign-Up
10–11 AM: Welcome, Election Results; New Board of Directors, Officers, Financial Report; Advisors and Attendees Introductions
11–Noon: Marketing Wholesale to Retail (with Lynn Gordon, French Meadow Bakery; Carolyn Moran, Living Tree Paper; Barbara Filippone, EnviroTextiles)
12–12:30 PM: Composites Sector (with Eric Steenstra, Power Point Presentation; Warren Benjamin, Flexform Film Clip)
12:30–2 PM: Lunch
2–2:30 PM: European Hemp Report (with Don E. Wirtshafter)
2:30–3:30 PM: Small Group Network Sessions
3:30–4 PM: Large Group Discussion (with Steve Levine, HIA President)
4-5 PM: Federal Legislation / Legal Panel (Green Business Conference Session with Eric Steenstra, Vote Hemp President; Adam Eidinger, Mintwood Media; Michael Greene, CDS Consulting; Patrick Goggin, Attorney)
7 PM: Awards Dinner & Hemp Achievement Awards (5 & 10 Year Pins)

Friday, November 4
8–9 AM: Reception & Networking; Silent Auction Sign-Up; Sales
9–10 AM: Hemp Farming – Canada & Romania (with Shaun Crew, President CHTA; Warren Benjamin, Video Clips; Gordon Schiefele, President OHA)
10–11:30 AM: Food & Oil – New Research & Market Report (with Gero Leson, Leson Consulting; David Bronner, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps; Ruth Shamai, Ruth’s Hemp Foods; Les Szabo, Living Harvest USA)
11:30–12:30 PM: Silent Auction – Winners & Distribution
12:30–1:30 PM: Lunch
1:30–2:30 PM: Textiles – Market Study and Research (with Barbara Filippone & Summer Star, EnviroTextiles; Mike Sutherland, Peopleshemp; Rob Jungmann, Two Jupiters; James Roberts, Ecolution)
2:30–3 PM: Julia Butterfly Hill, Circle of Life (Inspiration & Motivation)
3–4 PM: "Hemp and the Rule of Law" Showing (New Documentary Movie)
4 PM: Adjournment
4–5 PM: Tear Down Exhibits, Etc.

Registration is $200 for the general public and free for members of the media. Please RSVP to Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671 or present press credentials at the hotel. B-roll footage of hemp farming and production is available.

For more information on industrial hemp, please visit www.VoteHemp.com, the Web site of Vote Hemp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of industrial hemp.

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