Eric Steenstra is a hemp industry pioneer, co-founding hemp clothing and lifestyle brand Ecolution with Steve DeAngelo in 1992. Eric was a founding member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and served as Executive Director from 2008 to 2016. Eric now serves as the president of Vote Hemp, the political advocacy organization that he co-founded in 2000 and Vice President of the California Hemp Council. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and trusted source to the media, including CBS, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, Rolling Stone, Reuters and the Washington Post.
Vote Hemp lead the effort to pass hemp farming legislation nationwide. In 2005, Steenstra worked with Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) to draft the first modern U.S. hemp legislation introduced in Congress (H.R. 3037). In 2012 he worked with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to get companion hemp legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 3501). Steenstra worked with Congressman Polis (D-CO) and Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) to have hemp legislation included in the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the first legal hemp farming in over 50 years and resulted in 78,176 acres of hemp being planted across 24 states in 2018. Vote Hemp also played an integral role in the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill including fully removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.