California wheat biotech firm expands hemp investment with $10 million raise

An agriculture biotech company that markets high-fiber wheat said it is expanding its hemp subsidiary with a $10 million stock offering.

Arcadia Biosciences of Davis, California, plans to use the money to research hemp genetics in Imperial County, California, according to a news release.

The company’s hemp subsidiary, Arcadia Specialty Genomics, is scheduled to start planting hemp there Oct. 1.

Arcadia started its hemp subsidiary in April in Hawaii, where hemp growers had to destroy more than 50% of the state’s 2019 hemp crop because varieties exceeded the THC limit of 0.3%.

Arcadia CEO Matthew Plavan said in the release that hemp is “decades behind other crops” in the availability of commercially viable seeds.

“It’s very difficult to purchase a batch of uniform CBD hempseed, resulting in unpredictable outcomes for both growers and buyers,” Plavan said.

Arcadia trades on the Nasdaq as RKDA.

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