Eric Steenstra is a hemp industry pioneer beginning as a co-founder of hemp clothing and lifestyle brand Ecolution in 1993. Eric was a founding member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and served as its Executive Director from 2007 through 2016 as he lead grew the industry leading trade group to over 300% growth in membership. Eric now serves as the president of the political advocacy group Vote Hemp that he co-founded in 2000.
Vote Hemp has been instrumental in getting pro-hemp legislation passed in more than 30 states. In 2005, Eric worked with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to get the first modern U.S. hemp legislation (H. 3037) introduced in Congress and in 2012 he worked with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to get hemp legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate. Eric also worked closely with House and Senate members to have breakthrough hemp legislation included in the 2014 Farm Bill that ultimately enabled the first legal hemp farming in over 50 years. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill resulted in over 23,000 acres of hemp being planted across 19 states by more than 1400 licensed farmers and university researchers under state hemp pilot programs in 2017.