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Murray State Establishes Center For Agricultural Hemp

Murray State University

A new agricultural center at Murray State University aims to boost funding opportunities for hemp research.

Hutson School of Agriculture Assistant Dean Brian Parr said the center will streamline funding and industry support for the university’s hemp efforts. He said the new Center for Agricultural Hemp will be administered through the School of Agriculture.

“The idea for this center is to become a hub where industry and education including research and outreach to the community can come together to be kind of a central point for communication,” Parr said.

School of Agriculture Dean Tony Brannon said Kentucky is positioned to be the national epicenter of agricultural hemp and that Murray State is on the fault line. He said the hemp industry is rapidly growing in the university’s service region.

“It’s been 80 years since this crop has been researched and there’s all kinds of research that needs to be happening,” Brannon said. “The Center for Agricultural Hemp will position us well to apply for numerous USDA and other grants.”

Brannon said he’s not aware of any similar centers for hemp. Murray State participated in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s hemp pilot program and planted the first legal agricultural hemp research plot in 2014. Congressman James Comer said Murray State was the first university in the nation to participate in the hemp pilot program.

The KDA recently approved an expansion for hemp planting to include up to 50,000 acres for this crop production year. Brannon said majority of this land is in the west Kentucky Pennyrile and Purchase regions.

Hemp CBD supplier and manufacturer CV Sciences is a foundational partner for the center. CV Sciences is based out of California and Nevada.


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