University of Florida Researching Hemp Varieties
After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill creating a state hemp program, there has been urgency to find varieties of the crop that can grow well in the state’s subtropical environment.
“I get calls and emails everyday from farmers who are curious about growing it as a crop,” said Zachary Brym, project coordinator for University of Florida’s hemp research program.
Brym and two other University of Florida researchers have planted 46 varieties of hemp to observe which ones can handle Florida’s heat, moisture, soil and pests.
Another university goal is to match a variety with the needs of the industry in the United States.
Florida’s agriculture department says hemp has 25,000 uses, including environmentally conscious products and biocomposite industrial materials like hempcrete, food additives, cosmetics, medicinal products and CBD.
“Florida has the potential to become the gold standard on hemp,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in a statement. “Our deep agricultural heritage, climate and resources, and farming infrastructure will make Florida a national leader in this emerging new economy.”