Researchers at the University of Minnesota legally harvested Minnesota hemp for the first time in more than 60 years this week.
Under the Industrial Hemp Development Act of 2015, researchers are allowed to collect wild hemp for research purposes.
Dr. George Weiblen and Jonathan Wenger have studied hemp for more than ten years, but “until now, we have not been able to collect wild cannabis seed in the United States,” Weiblen said. “Our previous work has been based on seeds that we imported from the Netherlands and Canada.”
“Our aim is to breed and create new varieties in the hope that a domestic hemp industry might be reborn in the United States,” he continued.
Currently, Minnesota hemp cannot legally be used in any products, though laws across the country are undergoing a sea change.
“We see the market trending in this direction,” Weiblen said. “Many states, nearly half, have passed hemp legislation in the last decade.”
Photo Credit: Miran Rijavec