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Story by John M. Burt | - Story Source
Published on Tuesday December 8, 2020 - 1:33 AM
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On February 9 and 10, the first National Hemp Symposium will be held. It will be in the form of a virtual conference, but it will be very much an Oregon State University event, being co-hosted by OSU's Global Hemp Innovation Center and the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ideal environment for growing hemp is found on the 45th Parallel – halfway between the Equator and the North Pole – which runs through Oregon just north of Salem. Also, Oregon hemp farmers have been developing Oregon-suitable hemp since…well, since considerably before hemp farming was legalized in 2009, or before the first hemp farming licenses were issued in 2015.

In spite of that late start, Oregon's 1,342 licensed hemp farmers now farm 46,219 acres, more than any state except Montana and Colorado, and Oregon is projected to eventually have one acre in five of all commercial agricultural land growing hemp, a larger proportion than in any other state.

Over several biannual sessions, the state legislature has been debating HB2740, which would establish a Hemp Commission to join the 23 existing agricultural commissions, in the hope that a Hemp Commission would be a more efficient way to direct state hemp research funds.