Virginia colleges researching uses for industrial hemp

Three universities in Virginia are conducting research on industrial hemp after the state legalized cultivation of the crop for research purposes.

Virginia Tech, James Madison University and Virginia State University are researching different uses for the crop, which is the same species of cannabis plant as marijuana but doesn’t possess the psychoactive properties, the Roanoke Times reported.

The General Assembly passed a law legalizing hemp cultivation for research reasons in 2015, and the governor signed it into law in 2016.

Tech is growing 18 different varieties of hemp and has plans to research hemp-enforced concrete and using hemp fibers in car parts.

Virginia is among over 30 states that permit the growing of hemp under the federal 2014 Farm Bill. The law allowed cultivation for research purposes as well as some select pilot programs.

– Associated Press