Analytics firm Brightfield Group, which tracks the cannabis industry, expects the hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) market to grow from $618 million in 2018 to $22 billion by 2022. Because of the growing interest in hemp and its potential to become a major agricultural commodity, Oregon State University is creating the country’s largest research center devoted to the study of this crop.
The Global Hemp Innovation Center will be based in university’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The center will serve as a research hub connecting faculty and researchers engaged in plant research, food innovation, pharmacy, public health, public policy, business and engineering. There are more than 40 of the university’s faculty engaged in hemp research, teaching and extension services.
“Hemp has incredible potential across several industries and sectors, including in food and health products and as a fiber commodity in many products,” said Alan Sams, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State. “The launch of this center signifies our commitment to continue to build upon that established expertise and grow our impact across the state, the nation and globally.”
Oregon State will also begin certifying hemp seed for planting in Oregon. Currently, only state departments of agriculture in Colorado, North Dakota and Tennessee certify hemp seed for use in those states.