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University of Virginia to Use Hemp to Clean Up Polluted Lands

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22nd Century focuses on cannabis research and tobacco harm reduction. It’s partnered with the University of Virginia to use industrial help to clean up and reclaim abandoned mining land across the state. Other polluted parcels will also be included in the revitalization project.

Phytoremediation is the process being used to clean up these areas, according to Business Wire. Specially developed hemp plants will be planted on these grounds and are said to be efficient in absorbing toxins, soil contaminants and metals. The hemp plants will also grow quickly.

Coal mining throughout Virginia can damage the environment. The varieties of hemp developed by 22nd Century’s partnership with the University of Virginia are hoping to improve the quality of the soil in Virginia.

Dr. Paul Rushton of 22nd Century said, “Our phytoremediation-optimized varieties of industrial hemp will open up new and lucrative markets for 22nd Century. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of applying our biotechnology expertise to a challenging environmental problem. We see phytoremediation as an opportunity for 22nd Century to do very well…by doing good for the earth.”

Dr. Michael Timko of the University of Virginia said, “We are very excited about using 22nd Century’s industrial hemp plants for land reclamation in Southwest Virginia, where years of poor land management practices and industrial mining have devastated the soil quality and fertility. This is also a tremendous opportunity to partner with UVA-Wise where Dr. Ryan Huish and his colleagues have been studying the problems of mining land reclamation. Industrial hemp farming provides a new approach to not only rejuvenating the land but also the local economy in key portions of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”