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What does the activation of US universities in the industry of hemp use for medical purposes show?


A critical mass is gradually forming in the country when the quantity grows into quality. It can be assumed that in a few years at the level of federal law the possibility of legal use of hemp in the USA for medical purposes will be regulated.

The pages of the profile electronic publication of Ukrainian hemp breeders have repeatedly focused on the fact that US higher education institutions actively participate not only in training specialists in the hemp industry in the country, but also actively develop various kinds of know-how, methods and technologies together with existing hemp companies which are immediately introduced into production. How universities in the most economically developed country in the world take part in various kinds of projects aimed at the use of hemp for medical purposes and what this may ultimately lead to, let's try to analyze in this material. 

Southern University has become the second tertiary institution in Louisiana to formally take part in the industry related to the use of drug-free cannabinoids for medical purposes. In late January, representatives of the University announced the release in February 2020 of a new anti-inflammatory product line ALAFIA, to which representatives of this educational institution are directly related.

Research aimed at studying the therapeutic properties of cannabis is carried out in Baton Rouge on the basis of the Southern University's Center for Research and Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies in cooperation with Ilera Holistic Healthcare. Ilera's CEO claims that “The goal of the ALAFIA anti-inflammatory product line is to provide access to wellness products at affordable prices to the maximum number of American citizens.” 

In turn, representatives of the Southern University expressed the hope that the project will help to create similar partnerships between educational or scientific institutions with representatives of hemp business throughout the country. In particular, the head of the University, Ray L. Belton, said in an interview with the media that “the country has an exciting time for healthcare and business. The faculty and students of the University are proud that they are part of this process and are at the forefront of the development of the medical field of the hemp industry in the United States. Southern University has been a leader in the field of agriculture and science for 140 years, but we have taken pleasure in researching the therapeutic properties of hemp and will be happy if we can serve as a model for other US universities. ” 

Commentary by the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

Southern University (Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College), along with the University of Louisiana, are the holders of official work permits aimed at exploring the possibilities of using hemp for medical purposes. In addition to the two universities mentioned above, in 2019, representatives of Washington State University took part in a project initiated by a pharmaceutical research company with the goal of studying hemp products with significant therapeutic properties. The University of California, Davis, has partnered with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a medical hemp research company.

After the adoption of relevant amendments to US law in 2014, universities of the country immediately became drivers of studying the possibility of using technical hemp for industrial purposes. As a result of lobbying, including from the US scientific community, in December 2018, normative legal acts were adopted regulating the possibilities for legal cultivation of malonarcotic hemp in the country. Already in 2019, the country became the second largest cultivated crop in the world by the area under crops. 

Since 2019, US higher education institutions have been actively collaborating with American hemp companies specializing in the use of hemp for medical purposes. Given the development of cannabis for medical purposes in Canada, by analogy with the activity of universities in the field of industrial hemp breeding, as well as the adoption of legislation in a number of US administrative units according to which hemp can be used for medical as well as recreational purposes that a critical mass is gradually forming in the country when the quantity grows into quality. It can be assumed that in a few years at the level of federal law the possibility of legal use of hemp in the USA for medical purposes will be regulated.

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