Oregon State University (OSU) is working very hard to lead the country in industrial hemp research. The research OSU is going to identify statures, water needs, growth characteristics, as well as other conditions in order to try to optimize hemp plant growth. Hemp plants can be used for clothing, fuels, fibers, and many other materials researchers say. The head of the Crop and Soil Science department in the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU is Jay Noller
“So we’re looking at the simple question of can we grow to a maturity, industrial hemp in Oregon, specifically Western Oregon,” said Noller.
Noller made sure to note that they are keyed in on industrial hemp growth because many stakeholders are requesting for information on the growing industry. Steve Clark is the Oregon State vice president of relations and he says that they are trying to bring many state universities together for the research.
“Oregon State is a leader, I mean we are rated nationally and internationally among some of the top natural resources universities internationally,” Clark stated.
The College of Agricultural Sciences gave the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the DEA the applications for the research to take place. Even then, there are still many more steps to take in order for studies to be approved. At the moment, they need to import hemp internationally. According to Noller, they are looking at many countries to obtain hemp from, especially Canada and France.
The Farm Bill of 2014 along with new state laws allowed for research into industrial hemp. Years ago Oregon was able to grow hemp, but that was ruined in the ‘70s. Although the results were very meaningful and useful to everyone, Clark stated that more time and capital is needed; “We’re feeling very good about that, but we also have to raise close to two and a half million dollars to fund three to five years’ worth of research.”
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