UMass colleagues: Add your name to support Industrial Hemp Research

Our University is among one of the top agricultural and sustainable universities in the United States and the World; and therefore, we believe we should be growing and researching Industrial Hemp. Industrial Hemp is reviving as the sustainable link between agriculture and industry and is a sustainable source of fiber (ie. textiles, paper), fuel (i.e. biomass, biodiesel), medicine (ie. cannabinols), construction materials (ie. hempcrete, fiberglass replacement), and graphene (ie. super-capacitors).

Additionally, here is a list of links to some articles and excerpts that support Industrial Hemp's relevance to cutting edge research (i.e. how hemp is a cheap way to make graphene for supercapacitors) and to which departments they may be relevant at UMass.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nm4D-DreYRgivIm7fPmTUmRxRCAOz8LvnxZWXlvKEwc/edit?usp=sharing

In early 2014, the Federal Government defined Industrial Hemp as distinct and authorized institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture in states where hemp is legal to grow hemp for research or agricultural pilot programs.

At least 15 states have voted to make industrial hemp cultivation legal and are therefore are allowed by the farm bill to grow hemp for academic research and marketing purposes. Kentucky, Vermont and Colorado already have harvested hemp as part of this research.

However, Industrial Hemp is not currently legal to grow in Massachusetts; therefore, UMass is unable to grow hemp for research or agricultural pilot programs until legislation is passed in Massachusetts to legalize it.

The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and NOFA/Mass both embrace Industrial Hemp cultivation and the opportunity it would provide Massachusetts farmers to diversify their operations and share in a new market opportunity (U.S. Hemp Industry is estimated at over $500 million dollars annually and growing). At a time when small farms are innovating and diversifying to remain competitive, we should provide every opportunity to increase farm incomes and allow the next generation the ability to continue living off the land as their families have for generations.

We the undersigned are constituents of the University and appeal to our colleagues to join us in signing this statement calling upon UMass to support state legislation to make Industrial Hemp cultivation legal in Massachusetts which in turn would allow our University to grow hemp for research and agricultural pilot programs.

The Undersigned:
Full list of signers can be found at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16HOvJMyXNGK4TVmHMQmHd3drfa5l2ZYhRAPuqAUL2yA/pubhtml?gid=1134903499&single=true

Lyle Craker
Professor, Medicinal Plants
Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
______

Masoud Hashemi
Extension Associate Professor, Sustainable Food and Farming
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
______

Stephen Herbert
Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Innovation Working Group
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
______

Geunhwa Jung
Graduate Program Director of Plant & Soil Sciences
Associate Professor of Turfgrass Pathology/ Breeding
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
______

Levi Lilly
Student '15, Sustainable Food & Farming Major
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
______

Bryan Moss
Alum '95, Finance Major / Economics Minor
Isenberg School of Management

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