Virginia hemp has become a reality. On Oct. 19, 2017, the University of Virginia announced that it had completed its first successful harvest of the crop.
Hoping to reestablish Virginia hemp, Virginia biology professor and principal scientific investigator Dr. Michael Timko told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he plans on using his work to help restore lands that have been depleted by mining and tobacco farming.
The Virginia hemp harvest, which is reportedly valued at $1.1 million, was made possible through a research partnership with 22nd Century Group (NYSE:XXII), a subsidiary of Goodrich Tobacco Company.
Although hemp is relatively easy to grow, there are only a few varieties of hemp that are suitable for growing in Virginia’s climate. With 22nd Century’s help, researchers were able to identify and cultivate a variety of hemp that could thrive in the state.
“We are very excited to harvest our first Virginia-based hemp crops in partnership with 22nd Century,” Timko said in a press release. “We have learned a lot from this first year’s planting and we are planning to take full advantage of the proposed amendments to Virginia’s industrial hemp laws with expanded plantings in 2018.”