Oregon State receives $10 million grant to study hemp market in western U.S. – Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to define economic opportunities for hemp in the western United States.

The five-year project is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant program. Oregon State scientists are partnering with eight institutions across the nation on this research, which addresses the needs of Native American and other rural community businesses and farmers in a four-state Western Pacific region.

“We established the Global Hemp Innovation Center in 2019 to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders to address big unanswered questions about the hemp industry,” said Jeffrey Steiner, associate director of the center. “While enthusiasm for hemp has grown, there is still a tremendous lack of knowledge about the crop.”

The recent decriminalization of hemp with the passage of the 2018 farm bill created a boom of interest in the potential of hemp. Establishing a successful hemp industry requires more research on where different hemp grain, fiber, and essential oil market classes should be optimally grown and the best genetics to use; how to incorporate hemp into existing production systems to complement rather than disrupt markets; where to process the grown materials that are used to manufacture hemp products; and what are the likely growth markets to support industry expansion.

The research team will address these questions by targeting the rural transportation corridor that traverses Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California east of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains from Canada to Mexico. The region represents diverse, generally arid environmental conditions and encompasses both large areas of irrigated and non-irrigated production.

Because Native American Tribes are significantly represented across the four-state region, the researchers are incorporating Native American farmers and

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