Friends of HEMP

Board of Directors


Annie Rouse (Founder and President) – Annie Rouse is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar who studied the environmental life cycle of hemp in Canada. After returning home, she founded Friends of Hemp, to enhance educational outreach in Kentucky and beyond. In 2018 Ms. Rouse Co-Founded Anavii Market, an online retailer for third-party verified hemp-derived CBD and other hemp products. Over the last 10-years, she has conducted archival research within the Library of Medicine and other government archives to identify the underlying concerns and therapeutic attributes of cannabis. She is the author, producer and narrator of the podcast series, “Anslinger: The untold cannabis conspiracy” and the blog Think Hempy Thoughts.

Ms. Rouse is also a member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a board member of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and member of the Legislative Review Committee for the Hemp Industries Association. She is also a published author in Hemp Magazine and Hemp Business Journal. Ms. Rouse holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kentucky in Economics and a Master’s Degree in International Environmental Policy and an MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.



Joseph Hickey (Treasurer) – Joseph Hickey’s roots in the hemp industry began in 1993 as founder and Executive Director of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative. Soon after, he was convincing then Gov. Brereton Jones to form the Hemp Task Force (to study the feasibility of hemp as a Kentucky cash crop). In 1998, Mr. Hickey was a founder and board member of Kenex Ltd, Canada’s first commercial hemp seed and fiber processing company. For over a decade, Mr. Hickey helped start and grow a number of environmentally conscious organizations, including Tierra Madre, LLC with Woody Harrelson, Baswood, and Prairie Pulp & Paper. Upon Kentucky’s reintroduction of hemp in early 2014, Mr. Hickey became a founding member of Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kentucky Hemp Seed Research & Development Co. and Kenex Kentucky. He is currently working with farmers, state regulators and attorneys to bring Kentucky its first commercial scale hemp seed breeding, crushing, and fiber processing facility.


Ben PasleyBen Pasley (Board Member) – Ben Pasley is a 5th generation farmer from Clark County, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, after graduating Mr. Pasley served in various roles for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in his Executive Cabinet. Mr. Pasley is currently an Owner and COO of Laura’s Hemp Chocolates, a chocolate brand using Kentucky grown hemp and dark chocolate to create a healthy chocolate. Mr. Pasley has been involved in the Kentucky Hemp Program in some capacity since 2014. Since 2015, Mr. Pasley has participated as a farmer with Mt. Folly Farm as they experiment with the various ways to grow certified organic grain hemp, conventional grain hemp, and organic CBD hemp within the Ky Dept of Ag Hemp Program.


Josh HendrixJosh Hendrix (Board Member) – Born and raised in the Bluegrass State and a University of Kentucky alumnus, Josh Hendrix relocated back to Central Kentucky in 2014 on a mission to help rebuild the US hemp industry. Seeing a need to bring farmers, processors, manufacturers and supporters of the industry together, Mr. Hendrix founded the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association that summer. He also became an active member of the US Hemp Roundtable where he now serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors. In 2015 he created and became President of Hendrix Hemp, a licensed hemp producer that manages hemp cultivation on his family’s, Mayflower Farm, in Mount Sterling, KY. In early 2017 Mr. Hendrix was appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Hemp Association and also accepted a role on the Board of Directors for Friends of Hemp. He is also the host of the Hemp Happy Hour, a live radio show and podcast about the emerging hemp industry. Currently Mr. Hendrix serves as the Director of Business Development – Domestic Production for CV Sciences, Inc. where he works with numerous universities, farmers, businesses, and organizations to help facilitate the infrastructure necessary to establish a modern domestic supply chain for hemp in the United States.


John DeReamerJohn DeReamer (Board Member)John DeReamer is a Kentuckian, born and raised in Lexington. With a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Mr. DeReamer has cultivated an interest in CBD hemp. During his time as a student, he was part of a class that presented a hemp fiber processing facility proposal to the Governors Office of Agriculture Policy.  Mr. DeReamer also worked for the UK Center for Crop Diversification while he was in school. Following graduation in 2016, he became a licensed CBD Hemp Producer and continues to be a strong advocate for hemp and Kentucky agriculture. As well as serving on the board for Friends of Hemp, Mr. DeReamer also fulfills the role of Secretary for the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.


Courtney N. Moran, LL.M. (Board Member) Courtney Moran is the founding principal of EARTH Law, LLC and chief legislative strategist for Agricultural Hemp Solutions, LLC is the leading expert on industrial hemp law championing legal policy for sustainable Cannabis hemp agribusiness development. Courtney’s article, Industrial Hemp: Canada Exports, United States Imports was published by the Fordham Environmental Law Review. She participated in the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem in April 2016. In October 2016, Courtney testified before the Senado de la República in Mexico City, Mexico. She successfully lobbies for the Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association passing legislation, HB 4060 (2016), SB 1015 (2017), and HB 4089 (2018), protecting Oregon hemp agricultural interests. She authored H 3559 (2017), establishing the South Carolina hemp program. Courtney provided foundational language for SB 119 (2017), establishing the Wisconsin hemp program. Ms. Moran strategically guided drafting SB 6 (2017-2018), establishing the Alaska hemp program. She also provided pivotal strategy in drafting pending Missouri hemp legislation SB 547 and HB 2034. Ms. Moran is also co-petitioner of the Relegalizing Industrial Hemp Project, a formal administrative rulemaking petition to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that will remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.


Bill Bookout (Board Member) Bill Bookout is the current President and a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council. He served as President from 2002 until May 2012, then returned as President in February 2014, and also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Bookout was President of Genesis Limited, a company he founded in 1999, which provides both feed and health products for companion animals. In March 2012, Genesis was acquired by Kemin Industries, Inc., a privately held, family-owned company that has nearly 1,500 employees and operates in more than 90 countries. Mr. Bookout was Vice President of Global Sales at Kemin before reassuming the role of NASC President in 2014. Mr. Bookout has been selected by Health Canada to serve on the Expert Advisory Committee for Veterinary Natural Health Products. Prior to founding Genesis, he spent 15 years in the human medical device and animal health industries, including executive positions with Medex Medical, the All-Care Animal Referral Center (a specialty referral veterinary hospital) and AnaMed International, and was Director of Sales & Marketing for Marquest Medical Products. Mr. Bookout received his bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Wyoming and his master’s degree from the Pepperdine University Presidents and Key Executives MBA program.


Ethan Vorhes (Board Member) Ethan Vorhes and his family raise beef, pork, and poultry on a non-GMO grain farm in Northern Iowa. Ethan worked the last two years to transplant his farming operation to a hemp-legal state. He sees an opportunity to produce natural hemp-feed livestock to produce non-commodity meat with an advantageous flavor profile and a unique nutritional story. This aggressive pivot from traditional agriculture led Ethan to be a stakeholder in Colorado’s hemp fed feasibility study group.

Ethan is now a steering committee member of the Hemp Feed Coalition. Ethan believes that hemp can help struggling family farms with a high market value product that simultaneously advances restorative land management. Federal approval of hemp grain as livestock feed is a vital part of regenerating our environment, economy, rural communities, and society.


Ken Elliot (Board Member) Ken Elliott has been working on Industrial Hemp opportunities in Montana and received the first Hemp License issued by the Montana Department of Agriculture in 2015. In addition, Ken is the President of IndHemp LLC which recently received the first Commodities License in Montana to legally enter into contracts with hemp farmers to purchase grain and sell seed. IndHemp is currently building a hemp seed processing facility in central Montana to crush hemp seed to produce oil and protein products. IndHemp is currently working with approximately 20 hemp farmers located throughout the state to build up a network of experienced farmers to better understand the agronomics of raising hemp and the economics of making hemp farming a success for Montana farmers. Over the past two growing seasons, IndHemp has been working with people across the state to not only produce a great crop of hemp but to raise-up a great crop of hemp farmers.

Ken and his wife Julie spend much of their time traveling to their homes and offices located in Wolf Point, Yaak and Ft Benton, Montana when they’re not at home enjoying time with family and friends in Omaha, Nebraska. When not working on hemp issues and opportunities, Ken is busy with his non-profit Tikkun Olam Ministries which strives to bring highly motivated and well educated school teachers to the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana.


Sheril Murray Powell, Esp. (Board Member) – Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is an Agricultural and Cannabis Attorney at Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair, and Dishowitz.   She is the Executive Director of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists of Florida and former Director of Federal Affairs for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Scheril is on the Hemp Pilot Program Advisory Board for the University of Florida. She is also President of consulting firm Green Sustainable Strong, LLC. In 2018, she was a recipient of the Crohns Foundation Blood, Sweat, and Tears Award and the Cannabis Business Award’s Industry MVP Award.  She is In House Counsel for Sunflora/ Your CBD Store. She is General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana and General Counsel for Patience with Patients. She is a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. As a Cannapreneur, Scheril is the President of Canna Headhunters, a staffing agency in the Cannabis Industry that connects Cannabis talent to opportunities.  She has been selected to present at a number of Cannabis Conferences including the South East Cannabis Conference, the U.S. Cannabis Conference, Canex Jamaica Conference, South East Cannabis Conference, Cannaday, The University of the West Indies Caribbean Neuroscience Conference, Detroit’s Canna Con, Florida Medical Marijuana Conference, and Canna-Ed Conference hosted by the Florida Cannabis Coalition. She has been asked to speak at Jamaica’s Pharmacological Board Mandatory Meetings and Jamaica Bureau of Standards meetings based on her international reputation as a Cannabis Expert.  


Brett Goldman (Board Member) – The best way to describe Brett Goldman is a “Jack of All Trades”. His professional background includes experience working in economic development, international trade, communications, politics and government relations, operations, and business strategy in both the United States and Israel.

Brett is Vice President of Government and Industry at GenCanna Global. GenCanna is a vertically integrated producer of hemp, with a focus on social, economic, and environmental wellness through seed-to-scale agricultural production. Joining GenCanna in 2015 as one of the earliest members of the team, Brett has been directly involved in all aspects of the business, from cultivation and production to government affairs and strategy.

Brett received his BA in History (’07) and MA in Education (’08) from Fairleigh Dickinson University and his MA in Government (’10) from IDC Herzliya, but he might tell you that the most formative pieces of his education came from working on political campaigns in and around Philly after college.


Dr. Anthony Ferrari (Board Member) – Dr. Anthony Ferrari is originally from Farmington Maine and went to Ithaca College to pursue his undergraduate degree in chemistry. He worked with Dr. Janet Hunting working on a cathode support for an automobile fuel-cell using conductive metal oxide synthesis based on the rutile titanium dioxide crystal structure. He continued education at Florida State University under Dr. Albert Stiegman where he obtained his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry studying microwave catalysis with specific application in the coal gasification processes. In 2015 he joined an essential oil and CBD company in Colorado where he utilized his analytical techniques to study terpene characterization and its interaction with CBD and other cannabinoids. His interest in plant medicine as a modern solution to pharmaceuticals has led him to Sunmed where he will continue to design CBD based formulations that utilize modern chemical applications.  


Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.