May 22, 2020

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Expands to Ten

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Expands to Ten


Contact: Brooke Robertson
[email protected]

Self-Regulating Organization Adds Former Arkansas Attorney General, Former FDA Official, Hemp & Dietary Supplement Industry Leaders

Lexington, KY (May 20, 2020) The U.S. Hemp Authority (USHA), the hemp industry’s initiative to promote high standards, best practices and self-regulation for growers, processors and product manufacturers, announced four new board members to its roster, broadening its reach to hemp industry and government stakeholders. The new Board members include:

  • Dustin McDaniel, the former Attorney General of the state of Arkansas;
  • Larisa Pavlick, former FDA official, current Vice President of Global Quality and Compliance for the United Natural Products Alliance, representing the dietary supplement industry;
  • Annie Rouse, Secretary of the Hemp Industries Association; and
  • Josh Hendrix, former President and founding board member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

The four new Board members join the existing directors and officers:

  • Dr. Marielle Weintraub, President, leading industry scientist and researcher;
  • Joy Beckerman, Vice President, longtime hemp leader and awardee of industry’s lifetime achievement award;
  • Richard Badaracco, Secretary, former DEA Special Agent, with four decades of law enforcement service;
  • Jonathan Shell, Treasurer, hemp farmer, former Kentucky House Majority Leader, Chair, Mitch McConnell for Senate;
  • Ron Conyea, hemp farmer, Trustee of U.S. Hemp Growers Association; and
  • Nathan Gerhardt, Vice President of Charlotte’s Web, Inc.; Executive Committee of U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

“We are thrilled to enlarge and strengthen our board of directors to reflect the full diversity of the U.S. hemp industry, as well as our stakeholders in the dietary supplements market, state government and law enforcement,” stated USHA President Marielle Weintraub. “Dustin, Larisa, Annie and Josh each bring different strengths to our board, and their leadership, together with the incumbent directors, will give business and consumers increased confidence in the USHA and the industry in general.”

The USHA’s certification program is the hemp industry’s initiative to provide high standards, best practices and self-regulation, giving consumers and retailers confidence in hemp and CBD products. Farmers, processors, manufacturers and brand owners who meet the program’s rigorous standards, as determined by an independent, third-party audit by Food Chain ID, the program’s new administrator, are awarded a seal of certification, signaling to consumers that their products our worthy of their trust. Prevention magazine selected the USHA for one of its 2019 Health Breakthrough Awards, billed as ten major medical innovations of the past year.


As this certification continues to develop, the US Hemp Authority will be sending out notices to industry stakeholders requesting input and involvement. Make sure your voice is heard by signing up to receive updates on the program’s developments!