Purdue Launches Industrial Hemp Project

NAIHC.org, Indianapolis, May 11, 2015 – To help prepare Indiana to supply the industrial hemp now being imported from overseas for a variety of uses, Purdue University researchers will grow two acres of hemp this year. As required by law, Purdue has obtained federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) permission for the project and a DEA license to import seed for planting.

As reported by Maureen Hayden in the Terre Haute Tribune Star and the Goshen News, Purdue agronomist Ron Turco “has spent months clearing hurdles to begin the first legal production of industrial hemp in decades in Indiana. Facing questions from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was just one of many steps in getting the cannabis seeds into the ground.”

Hayden’s article points out that “Turco’s research has been months in the making, starting with last year’s federal Farm Bill that reopened the door for hemp production as a cash crop after decades of prohibition. Congress allowed states and universities to grow hemp for agricultural research – provided that they get waivers from the DEA.”

Purdue got its waiver and is on track to plant its first industrial hemp plot. Highlighting the difference between non-drug industrial hemp and its distant cousin marijuana, Hayden explains that “The cannabis strains that Turco and colleagues will plant, as soon their rain-sogged research field is dry, lacks the punch of the marijuana preferred by potheads. Levels of THC – the psychoactive chemical in marijuana – will be 0.3 percent or less in their hemp. The recreational drug sold legally in Colorado has TCH content as high as 35 percent.”