Oregon State University Offers World's First Course on Industrial Hemp

21 Feb 2013 11:55 AM | Erin Pully (Administrator)

Course Includes Contributions from 26 of the World's Top Hemp Researchers

CORVALLIS, OR — Oregon State University's (OSU) College of Forestry and Department of Wood Science and Engineering have announced a new Ecampus course covering all aspects of industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, which may be imported into the U.S. but may not be grown and processed here despite major American industries seeking permission to do so. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) estimates that U.S. annual retail sales of hemp products exceeded $500 million in 2012.

Beginning on April 1, 2013, OSU will become the first university to offer a college-level course for credit on industrial hemp. The course will include contributions from twenty-six of the world's top hemp researchers covering a wide range of hemp-related topics.

The 3-credit Ecampus course (WSE 266 Industrial Hemp) can be taken from anywhere in the world that has Internet access. "The 10-week course will give students the most up-to-date and thorough introduction available to all the key aspects of industrial hemp," says course coordinator and leading hemp agronomist Anndrea Hermann, who is also President of the HIA.

Industrial hemp's historical and political context in the U.S. and worldwide will be examined. The course will cover current topics on industrial hemp, including: the applied science of growing and using industrial hemp, botany, fabric and fashion, paints and sealers, building products, composites, foods, body care, livestock feeds, bioenergy, nanotechnology, grain and fiber processes, agronomy, breeding and others.

Hemp has played an important role in America's rich agricultural heritage, and every day more Americans are discovering its nutritional, ecological and industrial uses. Hemp is a nutrient-dense and renewable food source that is rich in dietary fiber, highly digestible protein and essential fatty acids (EFAs). It can also be used to make paper, clothing, biofuels, biodegradable plastics, automobile parts, building materials and much more.

This month, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 (H.R. 525) was introduced in the House with twenty-eight original co-sponsors, and it was quickly joined by a companion bill in the Senate (S. 359) which was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), underscoring the bipartisan support around the hemp issue. If passed, the bills would remove federal restrictions on the domestic cultivation of industrial hemp. The full text of the bills, as well as status and co-sponsors, can be found at: http://www.votehemp.com/legislation.

Enrollment details and more information about the new Ecampus industrial hemp course can be found on the Oregon State University Web site at: http://bit.ly/OSE266.

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Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Lauren Stansbury at 402-540-1208 or lauren@wearemovementmedia.com.


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