Heartland university teaches students hemp production

Efforts to teach students hemp production

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The cannabis industry is a thriving market, and a Southeast Missouri State University professor is helping students grow skills in this field.

“You need food, you need shelter. Hemp can provide you both food and shelter,” said Southeast Missouri State agriculture professor Sven Svenson.

Svenson started teaching a hemp production class last semester, where students learn the history, production and non-recreational industrial use of Hemp.

“Hemp can be used and is already used in things like building cars. Its perhaps the best biodegradable substitute we have for plastics,” Svenson said.

Hemp comes from the Sativa plant, but is not the same as marijuana, as it contains 0.3 percent less THC.

He said students requested the course in 2014, after the Farm Bill legalized Hemp for industrial use.

Now, expanding the class in to an option in the Agriculture Department is a possibility.

“We’ll try to get a cannabis-science option available... It’ll be a marriage between our ag-business classes, our horticulture classes, and the chemistry department, chemistry classes,” Sven Svenson said.

Hemp is not currently grown on the campus Greenhouse.

Svenson hopes to give students the experience of growing the plant themselves, but is waiting for approval from the university.

“They can’t be learning how to do after it already there. They need to be watching the process as it goes,” Svenson said.

Students said they believe something like this can help educate and draw more students to SEMO.

“Them bringing a class like this can definitely increase enrollment and help bring awareness” Raven Cole said.

“Increasing the education especially on a college campus, would not just be helpful for the students but for the entire area” Naisha Tobias said.

Other students explained it can help prepare students for what is now, a booming industry.

“We’re going to see a lot more jobs and to have people adequately trained for these jobs it really going to push the market even further,” Eli Jones said.

Svenson said, the decision to approve the “cannabis-science option” should be decided by August.

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