The University along with GenCanna announced that they have successfully developed hemp plants that do not contain any THC at all.
The researchers joined the company in crying that this is a breakthrough in the hemp industry and will serve to make Kentucky the Silicon Valley of hemp innovation.
“The overall goal of our industrial hemp research is to improve the quantity and efficiency of CBD production, as well as production of other valuable non-THC cannabinoids in hemp varieties optimized for Kentucky,” David Hildebrand, an agronomy professor at the university, told the press.
This development would allow growers to grow hemp and pick it when it is perfectly ripe without having to worry about THC levels. The levels of THC naturally fluctuate throughout the lifecycle of the plant. Kentucky follows the federal guidelines and only allows plants with 0.3% of THC to be harvested.
Many different cultivars have been researched and adapted to Kentucky’s climate and soil. Beyond CBD they have also have produced hemp for things like fiber, chocolate, salves, and grain.
The University is focused on helping the budding industry prosper. They are working to develop tests that measure cannabinoid levels more quickly. The goal is to be able to quickly test thousands of plants, and they are looking into drones to be able to remotely identify cannabinoids and scan plants from afar.
This year is the sixth year of the program in Kentucky. Last year they had record sales totalling $50 million and expanded from 11,000 to 42,000 acres of industrial hemp from 2018 to 2019.
GenCanna has already spent big money to develop new cultivars of hemp. The company employs 160 people at its Winchester headquarters and has announced plans to build a $40 million facility near Mayfield.