ABLE AND NEBRASKA
For several years my Father had been a user and believer in the benefits of CBD products. Knowing very little about CBD, I began to dig much deeper into the products, their uses and benefits and the industry. Considering the legal restrictions at that time (October, 2017), I continued to research further to better understand the nuances. Additionally, I began to use CBD products and after a few weeks noticed meaningful improvement in the quality of my sleep, reduced anxiety, fewer aches and pains and much quicker recovery from vigorous activities and workouts. With this experience, it was clear I needed to find a path to help others experience these positive effects of CBD.
This journey led me to an old friend, US Senator Ben Sasse/Nebraska. Ben introduced me to his Department of Ag Policy Director, Ginger Wilson who immersed me in the CBD/hemp situation from a state, federal and legal perspective. The next stop was Scott Hatfield - a past lobbyist for the Hemp Roundtable and Senator Lynn Walz, who connected me directly to Bob Krist, a Nebraska Senator who had been in full support of hemp legislation in Nebraska.
Bob’s discussed led to an introduction of two Nebraska businessmen Andrew and Jacob Bish, who build hemp-specific equipment. With the leadership of Bob Krist we all joined forces to craft a 501c3 titled “The 21st Century Ag Coalition” formed in December 2018 and intended to draft, educate and pursue the passing of Hemp related bills.
LB457 is being carried by Senator Lathrop and is intended to decriminalize Hemp and remove it from the banned substance list in Nebraska. The bill was introduced February 12th and had much support and no opposition and likely will be voted on soon and should carry little or no issue.
Carried by Senator Wayne, LB457’s purpose is to establish guidelines to create an agricultural program to be submitted to the federal department of agriculture for approval. This bill was introduced on February 13th and also had many supporters and no opposition. The bill is a bit more complicated and is currently being revised and reworked to ensure complete support and ultimate passage. In recents weeks the Governor of Nebraska has also come out in support of Hemp and recognizes the positive economic impact it will have for Nebraska farmers and the agricultural community as a whole. It is important to note that we also have supporting our committee: Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Cattleman, Hemp Roundtable and many other individual farmers and businesses.
We continue to push forward and are hopeful our efforts will soon result in opportunities for farmers to grow and build a stronger Nebraska Agricultural base.
- ABLE Co-Founder, Bill Ekeler