To our Members and Friends of the US Hemp Building Association,
We are just beginning to understand the impact that COVID-19 will have on our lives. The USHBA is a family and it is with sincerity that we say our hearts go out to those of you who may have lost employment, lost financial opportunities, lost loved ones or may have even suffered with health implications yourself.
In this time of uncertainty, the USHBA board and regional leaders are working to adapt to this new environment by not only finding alternatives to public meetings, expos and presentations, but also to seek non-traditional opportunities to educate the construction industry about the benefits of hemp-based building materials in order to get them integrated into the mainstream markets as soon as possible.
- Since all in-person expos, conventions and conferences have been cancelled or delayed, we plan on increasing our online presence in order to continue our forums for discussion and learning.
- Our goal of creating regional classes to teach hempcrete construction as well as tours of existing installations will now be done via video conferencing or online video presentations.
- We will build on the momentum we created to get the national certifications for hemp based materials and will lead the fundraising campaigns to raise the money for ASTM and ICC certification.
- We are paying attention to the few positive aspects of this memorable time in history such as Cannabis being recognized nationwide as “essential” and Agricultural funding in the Federal Stimulus Bill that can be used toward hemp related projects. The USHBA has wide discretion in spending these Agricultural funds and we will be using our lobbying influence to encourage implementation of funded hemp build projects.
- We will use this time to continue to build our own infrastructure and foundation, both financially and administratively. The key to this will be to raise money through membership, sponsorships and donations.
Finally, we have all seen the satellite images on social media showing the reduction of pollution levels around the globe due to the COVID-19 shut down. This is evidence enough to convince me that the USHBA must lead the way to take the construction industry in the direction that will create the life sustaining bioeconomy that is required to stop the destruction of our Earth.
This path will benefit all of us, ALL OF US, because it promises a road map to health and prosperity.
We must not forget the bigger picture of what the hemp plant can do for our planet. The last two months have forced our society to reevaluate its priorities, so now is time for all sectors of the hemp industry to unite to tell the world that the hemp plant is the absolute definition of man’s basic needs for “Food, Shelter and Clothing”.
The USHBA recognized that it is our awesome responsibility to fulfill the need of “Shelter”. We also recognize that we need to be one community, standing in solidarity and in support to get through these rough times.
Thank you so much and stay healthy!
Bob Escher, AIA
President – US Hemp Building Association