CSU says yes to hemp, no to weed

Colorado State University will join the statewide hemp craze by growing the crop for research and development purposes.

The university, which has staunchly opposed the on-campus proliferation of hemp’s first cousin, marijuana, has applied with the state Department of Agriculture to grow hemp. CSU’s application joined the 158 others filed by residents and businesses throughout the state, although it was the only university to apply.

Alan Rudolph, CSU’s vice president for research, said he submitted the application on behalf of faculty members who will research various strains of hemp and ideal growing conditions.

Hemp research fits with the university’s mission as a land-grant institute with strong agricultural roots and support of economic development statewide, he said.

“In the agribusiness area, the possibility of hemp as a new cash crop for Colorado was something we want to be supportive of as the state looks at how to realize this opportunity,” he said.

CSU’s hemp research has not started yet, but faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences and any other college that has a relevant interest in the plant will study it, he said. CSU also will notify the Drug Enforcement Administration that it plans to grow the plant.

But don’t think that CSU will help marijuana growers with their crops.

“CSU and its employees are not permitted to assist people in furtherance of an illegal activity,” spokesman Mike Hooker said. “Until such time as the federal government changes its position on marijuana, CSU will not be providing any advice on how to better grow marijuana.”

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