Saturday marked the 4th Annual SIUC Cannabis Science Center Hemp Symposium and an opportunity for me to take a firsthand look at some of the cutting edge research done right here in southern Illinois. This year’s focus was Cannabis Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) for the indoor production enthusiast and professional, and I spent the day taking in as much as possible.
Located at the second floor of the Student Center’s International Lounge, a wide range of vendors from the Illinois hemp and cannabis industries provided information (and swag) outside the auditorium. Even with a small number of vendors and an intimate setting, the full diversity of the industry was on display with booths from cultivator nuEra, hemp company Prairie State Hemp, and LOVA Cannabis dispensary, alongside others such as light company Valoya, grow shop Buttheadz, smoke shop Legal Smile, and growing device manufacturer The Human ConneXion.
The presentations were as wide-ranging as the vendors with presentations on product testing and quality, cloning, lighting, and growing at home. Student researchers from SIUC also will present posters summarizing their work. Notable personal favorites included Dr. Jose Lemes’ exciting talk about the fast moving frontier that is Cannabis CEA and Glenn Holland, CEO of The Human ConneXion, discussing preliminary results about his company’s product that uses vibration to stimulate plant growth.
Attendees also had the opportunity to discuss other hemp and cannabis research projects with the researchers and had access to chat with attendees and vendors during the breaks and catered lunch. As someone that spends a large portion of my life involved in the cannabis space, events that gather people passionate about the plant always leave me excited, but this one particularly so.
It’s not a stretch to say that The SIUC Cannabis Science Center is among the premier cannabis research programs in the Unite States, and the ability to see the important work happening there left me not only excited but optimistic about the future of cannabis and hemp. The SIU Cannabis Science Center was established to form a collaborative network for cannabis research. Working groups across campus work together with a combined interest in cannabis. Groups include projects in the areas of Agricultural, Analytical, Biomedical, and Community.
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