Oregon State University (OSU) will be receiving millions in federal grant money to study hemp at its research center.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, OSU has made the study of hemp a priority with the launch of the nation’s largest hemp research center in 2019 and millions of dollars in grants and donations.
While the hemp industry is projected to be worth billions within a few years, OSU says that there is startlingly little information on hemp.
According to OSU, many industry players growing hemp are currently playing it by ear due to a lack of information regarding the planting of the crop and genetic practices as domestic production was banned for several decades in the United States.
In October of 2019, OSU announced that Williamette Valley-based hemp seed research and development company, Oregon CBD, had gifted $1 million to the University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center (GHIC) to conduct research on hemp genomics and discover how the plant might be utilized in construction, textiles, and health and nutrition products.
OSU announced plans for the creation of the GHIC on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the office of United States Senator Jeff Merkley (D) announced that the federal government would be allocating $2.5 million in grant money from a larger spending bill to the GHIC.
“We were pleased to see the appropriation get approved as it shows the federal government’s confidence in our work,” says Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences OSU, Alan Sams. “The work will involve other universities and foster collaborative research to support the development of this new industry.”
Sams says that the funds will go toward supporting the establishment of the GHIC.
OSU has dedicated the expertise of more than 40 faculty members from 19 academic disciplines to researching hemp, as well as teaching and extension services, which the University plans to funnel into the GHIC.