Yesterday was an historic day in Pennsylvania as the PA Department of Agriculture closed its application acceptance for the 2017 Hemp Pilot Program. From what we are told they received right around 30 applications which is the maximum number of permits that will be awarded for 2017. Hopefully that means all that applied will get approval!
We are still disappointed in the limited scope of PAs program. We will continue to fight to get it expanded to allow small farmers to reasonably be able to participate and to allow a true commercial hemp industry to be developed in PA. This was always our intention when we endeavored to get hemp legislation passed in the first place and we are as committed as ever to making that happen.
In the meantime, we still have reason to celebrate!
Cameron McCoy, AVP Economic Engagement for Lehigh University and Dr. Bryan Berger, Associate Professor Department of Chemical and Bio molecular Engineering are the LU visionaries that made this partnership possible.
The three projects we intend to pursue:
Pennsylvania has literally hundreds of thousands of acres of abandoned coal mine lands that are contaminated with heavy metals. This project will focus on hemp’s ability to remove these toxins from the soil at a fraction of the cost of traditional remediation methods. We will also determine the impact that growing hemp on contaminated soil has on the plant itself and what applications the harvested hemp can be used for.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) also wants. to partner with us on this project. They also have land that would benefit from hemp remediation. Unfortunately the deadline made it impossible to incorporate them into our application and still get it turned in on time. However the Department of Ag has expressed they may allow us to amend our application so they may participate with us. We hope it happens. This is important research and the positive environmental and economic impacts hemp may provide for decimated land in Pennsylvania could be immense.
Bio manufacturing of Hemp Derived Light Harvesting Devices
- Determine growth conditions that favor production of graphitic carbon nanosheets from hemp fiber
- Integrate quantum dots (QDs) into hemp-derived nanosheets
- Demonstrate water-splitting using integrated QD-nanosheet materials
If you want your mind blown take some time to investigate the groundbreaking research Dr. Berger has already done in the field of Quantum Dots and Nanotechnology!
Isolation and Identification of Potent Antimicrobial Compounds from Hemp
- Determine growth conditions that favor production of antimicrobial compounds
- Determine which part(s) of plant contain antimicrobial compounds
- Extract, isolate and identify bioactive compounds within hemp plant fragments that are responsible for antimicrobial activity
- Determine range of efficacy of hemp antimicrobial extracts against known microbial pathogens.
This is another area where Dr. Berger has extensive experience and we are very fortunate to have such a brilliant researcher taking the lead on hemp technology research and development!
In addition to the formal projects we’ve applied for, left over hemp material will be used to explore the many exciting possibilities with using hemp in 3D printing applications
We look forward to commencing these projects and anticipate that through our partnership we will propel Lehigh University and Pennsylvania into world leaders in hemp manufacturing and innovation!