Joy Beckerman has been involved in the industrial hemp movement for over a quarter of a century, and her extraordinary passion for this unique and valuable crop is contagious! Joy is the Principal Industrial Hemp Specialist at Hemp Ace International, a New York-based consulting, legal support, expert witness, and brokerage firm serving the global community. She is the President of the Hemp Industries Association, founded in 1994 and sits on the National Board of Directors of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, formed in 1970. In addition to serving as an expert witness in both criminal and administrative matters, Joy is also The Seminar Group’s National Industrial Hemp Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair. After excelling in paralegal studies and joining the Cannabis Movements in the spring of 1990, Joy opened the first industrial hemp store in the State of New York, in Woodstock, in 1994. She also led her first legalization march and rally at that time. When the inaugural Vermont Hemp Bill passed in 1996, Joy relocated her family to Burlington to serve as Secretary to the Vermont Hemp Council.
While continuing her work in industrial hemp, Joy commenced an extensive dual career in compliance and complex civil litigation legal support in late 1998, supporting some of the West Coast’s most distinguished attorneys at such firms as Dorsey & Whitney and Lee Smart. In addition to working on the high-profile Enron and Exxon Valdez cases against those corporations, Joy has been the Lead Paralegal for several multi-million-dollar civil lawsuits, including the largest municipal securities fraud litigation in the history of Washington State. Her vast professional and hemp experience well serves her roles as an effective advisor and respected voice and leader in shaping law, policy, standards, and ethics in the rapidly developing hemp industries. Joy is a renowned public speaker, writer, and educator throughout North America, instructing on hemp subjects from history, law, agronomy, infrastructure, and phytocannabinoids to permaculture, hempcrete, and the wide spectrum of hemp industries. In addition to conducting continuing legal education seminars for practicing attorneys, she has presented at numerous universities, colleges, symposiums and panels for more than two decades, speaks regularly at a variety of conferences, and frequently contributes to media coverage. Joy is also a Guest Lecturer at Seattle University School of Law and Oregon State University.
Joy officially formed Hemp Ace International in February of 2014. Permaculture and regenerative agriculture are the foundation of Joy’s mission, and they play a fundamental role in her work and purpose. As the Principal Industrial Hemp Specialist at Hemp Ace International, Joy provides comprehensive professional industrial hemp education, legal support, consulting, and expert witness services, both domestic and foreign. Her world class instructional programs are enhanced by her global network of industrial hemp agronomists, breeders, processors, manufacturers and experts. She is a broker-distributor of a wide spectrum of industrial hemp raw and processed materials and manufactured goods, including fiber, bulk food ingredients, building materials, textiles, rope / cordage / twine / yarns, apparel, paper, body care, phytocannabinoids, and biocomposite/bioresin components. Joy is also an Instructor for Hemp Technologies, builders of the first fully-permitted, zero VOC hempcrete homes in the U.S.; and she is vastly honored to be a part of the Cannabis Museum’s writing and production team (2016 Newsweek article).
Joy received the Hemp Industries Association’s “2014 National Hemp Activist of the Year” Award and Seattle Hempfest’s “2016 Regional Cannabis Activist of the Year” Award. She works with lawmakers and regulators in multiple states as a grassroots activist both proactively and upon request. Educated stewardship of the valuable, versatile, sustainable industrial hemp crop and industries is Joy’s calling and driving force.