Lackawanna College and USEARCH Awarded Hemp Research Permit
SCRANTON, Pa. – Lackawanna College, along with the nonprofit U.S. Ecological Advanced Research & Conservation Hub (USEARCH), has been awarded a license to participate in a recently expanded state-run program that explores using industrial hemp for a variety of products including replacement automobile parts, alternatives for petroleum products, medicines, and cosmetics.
Lackawanna College joins Penn State University and Lehigh University as a recipient of a permit to conduct hemp research as a part of this exciting new educational opportunity.
This work will be conducted at USEARCH’s greenhouse and lab facilities located at the Northeast Environmental Technology Center (NEET Center) in Mayfield, Pennsylvania. According to figures provided by the Congressional Research Service, the growing of hemp is a multimillion-dollar business that has increased annually by almost 10% in the last 10 years and has contributed to retail sales by almost $600 million.
Although industrial hemp has been associated with marijuana, it has a negligible amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance responsible for the marijuana’s psychological effects. Instead, hemp has been used in the past for manufacturing and was a bumper crop for many farmers.
Lackawanna College will cooperate with USEARCH by incorporating this work into its recently established Sustainable Agricultural degree program. Students will participate in training and research in this field, providing opportunities for them to become involved in farming and possible new business ventures.
Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp Research Act (Act 92) was signed into law on July 20, 2016, allowing individual growers and higher education institutions contracting with the state Department of Agriculture to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. Lackawanna President Mark Volk expressed his enthusiasm for this project, saying, “Our partnership with USEARCH places the College at the forefront of a new and exciting field of research. It provides yet another innovative opportunity for our students to expand into new industries that will provide them with unique career paths.”
Dan Summa, Executive Director of USEARCH, believes this partnership will bring this environmentally sustainable product to the American landscape and restore the crop as a boon to farmers everywhere.
NEET Center’s Ray Angeli always envisioned this type of collaboration. “The NEET Center, with its laboratories, classrooms, office space, and shared collaborative facilities acts as cross pollinator of new ideas,” said Angeli. “The Lackawanna-USEARCH partnership is just one of several joint projects that companies within the NEET Center are now working on.”
For more information contact:
U.S. Ecological Advanced Research & Conservation Hub
Daniel F. Summa
The NEET Center
Raymond S. Angeli
About Lackawanna College:
Founded in 1894, Lackawanna College is a private, accredited college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, Sunbury, and Towanda. Learn more at www.lackawanna.edu.