Meet The Judges

Christopher Boucher

Chris Boucher is widely recognized as one the preeminent figures in the American Industrial Hemp movement. Boucher co-authored “Hemp CBD is Legal in All 50 States” back in 2012. This kick started the US Hemp CBD industry into a billion dollar industry as of today. In 1991, Chris Boucher founded The Hempstead Company, as one of the first hemp clothing and seed business in the US in over five decades. Boucher’s company marketed and sold hemp seed, hemp seed oil, hemp textiles, and hemp clothing in 1000s of stores globally. Clients included Converse Shoes, the Disney Stores, The Beatles (for their Anthology Release), The Dave Mathews Band, Phish and many others

In 1992 Boucher co-founded the HIA Hemp Industries Association which still exists today. In 1994, Boucher grew the first legal hemp research field in the America in over fifty years. Boucher obtained approvals from the California Imperial County Agricultural Commission, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and legal permits and contracts from the federal government at the USDA Imperial Valley Research Center in Brawley; CA. The project was documented by CNN and remains a milestone in American hemp history. Boucher has grown hemp in several Countries including China, Poland, Hungary, Europe, Romania and US. Boucher has also helped draft and promote hemp legislation, some resulting in the first hemp agricultural laws in California, Colorado between 1994 – 2017.

In 1997, Boucher’s work with the Navajo Nation in Arizona was instrumental in passing the very first Native American Hemp laws for the reservations. Previous successful hemp CBD startups: Cannavest Corp. 2013 (CV Sciences), designed the “Plus CBD logo the largest Hemp CBD manufacturing, distribution and sales company in the industry. Other start ups HempMeds and Ananda Scientific. Boucher was responsible for overseeing the importation of over 10,000 kg of CBD oil from Europe and managing over 1000 hectares of hemp CBD production in Europe before it was legal to grow in America. Boucher has been interviewed on over 150 major radio stations, reaching an audience of over 20 million. Currently Boucher is working on the wide-scale cultivation and commoditization of agricultural hemp in California.

Boucher currently is CEO of Farmtiva Inc. Farmtiva a hemp seed breeding company in San Diego CA. He resides in Laguna Beach, California with his wife, and donates his time as a mentor to underserved youth in South Central Los Angeles. He travels the country speaking at trade shows and consulting on hemp farm projects.

Morris Beegle

Leading cannabis/hemp advocate and entrepreneur, Morris Beegle is the co-founder and president of the WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) family of brands, including the NoCo Hemp Expo, the world’s most comprehensive hemp-centric conference and exposition. WAFBA also includes Silver Mountain Hemp Guitars, a manufacturer of boutique hemp guitars cabinets and components, Tree Free Hemp, a hemp paper and printing company, Let’s Talk Hemp, a comprehensive digital media platform, and more. Spanning education, advocacy, manufacturing and entertainment,

Beegle’s endeavors are both pioneering and award winning. Travelling several continents, Beegle regularly engages audiences in N.A., Europe, UK, Nepal and beyond, appearing at dozens of events and conferences each year.

Joy Beckerman

Joy Beckerman has been involved in the hemp industries for over a quarter century and her extraordinary passion for hemp is contagious! Joy is the Founder & Principal at Hemp Ace International, a New York-based consulting, legal support and expert witness firm serving the global hemp community, as well as the Regulatory Officer & Industry Liaison for Elixinol, an international leader in hemp extracts; Co-Founder & Senior Advisor to Colorado Hemp Works, the Nation’s first post-prohibition hemp grain processing facility; and host of the popular podcast Hemp Barons. Joy is also President of the Hemp Industries Association®, founded in 1994, as well as Vice President of the U.S. Hemp Authority™ which created the first cGMP standards for the hemp dietary supplements, foods, and cosmetics; and Executive Vice President of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. Joy works directly with lawmakers and regulators as a grassroots activist, both proactively and upon request.

After opening the first hemp store in the State of New York in the early 1990’s, Joy served as Secretary to the Vermont Hemp Council upon passage of the inaugural Vermont hemp bill in 1996. In mid-1998, she commenced an extensive dual career as a compliance and complex civil litigation paralegal, supporting some of the West Coast’s most distinguished attorneys. She is an internationally respected voice, writer and renowned public speaker on a spectrum of hemp industries subjects who has presented at continuing legal education seminars and at numerous colleges, universities, and conferences over the last nearly 30 years.

Gary Meier

Garry was born and raised on a mixed farm in the Ridgedale area of Northeastern Saskatchewan Canada. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan in 1976. Garry started farming in 1975 in partnership with his brother. Their farm at its peak size covered some 17,000 acres producing a variety of Organic and Conventional seed crops, specialty component crops and as well Leafcutter Bees.

Garry has served on many local and National boards in a variety of capacities. He is past chairman of the Canadian Canola Growers Association and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers association and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ Alumni. Garry has been active in a number of Agricultural Industry organizations that were dedicated to improving the viability of agriculture on the Canadian Prairies while at the same time improving the soil resource that we all depend upon for our livelihood. From January 1990 thru August of 1993, he served as the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation’s Regional Soil Conservation Specialist for Northeast Saskatchewan. In November of 1993, Garry and his wife Bonnie along with his brother Glen and his wife Shelley operating in partnership known as Meier Brothers Farm were presented with the W.R. Motherwell award as one of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers.

The farm started to grow Hemp in 1998 and Garry started a small Hemp breeding program in 2001. Garry is a Select Status Seed Grower. He started to produce Pedigreed Hemp Seed in 2000 and has successfully produced hemp seed of all pedigree classes including Breeder Seed until 2012. Meier Brothers Farms ceased operations in 2012 when Garry’s brother retired. Garry continues to farm about 2,200 acres on a custom basis.

Garry joined Bourgault Industries ( as the company’s Agronomy Team Leader in February of 2006 and has been in involved in the design of many of the company’s innovative products. In 2008, Garry along with his two partners incorporated Hemp Genetics International, a sister company Hemp Production Services in 2013 and CanSat Food Processors in 2015.

Garry is married to Bonnie who is a recently Retired Public Health Nurse. They have two girls, Kendra, who is active in the hemp business and Kimberly, who is a high school math and sciences teacher.