Researchers in the College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce at Thomas Jefferson University share their progress in formulating hemp-PLA composites. Through partnerships with PA-based companies and funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Kander Research Group seeks to build a local supply chain for sustainable and biodegradable plastic manufacturing.

Recently featured at TJU's Celebration of Innovation, Lexi Patania, Maggie Riley, Ashley Clark, and Gabriella Fioravanti explain what motivates their work:

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The PA Hemp Summit is returning to a full-sized event this November! After hosting portions of the event online the past two years due to COVID-19 concerns, the Reception, Summit, and Trade Show will take place in-person at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

The 2022 convention will feature reimagined educational programming, with more interactive and non-conventional presentations. Another first for the event will be a local Research Showcase, which aims to highlight students and researchers across a wide array of disciplines.

From the Call for Proposals:

The Hemp Research Poster Session is a professional development opportunity that will bring together students and investigators of industrial hemp along with industry and government leaders to spark conversation about the future directions of hemp innovation. Join us at this interactive session to engage with community members and network.

Submissions are invited from Academic and Research Institutions on one or more of the following topics related to Industrial Hemp:




Pest Management

Herbicide & Weed Control







Environmental Impact

Risk Management


Budget and Finance

To learn more on how to participate, please download the Request for Proposals, which is attached here:

Hemp Summit - Poster Presentation RFP
Download PDF • 45KB

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June 23, 2023

Hemp in June is vigorous! It is growing many inches every day. See Tim Fritz on June 7 and June 24, photos below. A short variety is in the foreground, with a much taller variety in back.

Photo 1: June 7, 26 days after planting Photo 2: June 24, some two weeks (plus) later

With our Mid-May planting date, appropriate fertility, adequate rainfall, and warm temps, we expect all varieties to reach their genetic potential. Each is showing their varietal differences. Some are obvious. Our compact, speedy Canadian grain varieties are already shedding pollen, while the Polish varieties are still in “baby bud” – but not for long! New to the trials is Colorado breeding, a latitude on par with the Mid-Atlantic region. Each variety has its own strengths. One grain variety will mature first at a short height. It will be easy to harvest mechanically and provide ample opportunity to plant another agronomic crop in late summer. The variety most suitable for fiber production is tall, slender, and supple. Dual purpose varieties are in between, both in height and plant development. I hope to harvest the crops as they mature, not all at the same time like in some research trials. Want to lend a hand? Give me a call!

Important agronomic research involves how crop history impacts hemp. King’s AgriSeeds has coined the term Forecrop, defined as cover crop mixtures that are tailored to precede a specific economic crop. The evaluations are not yet complete. Within the same variety, we have seen hemp respond differently to each of the Forecrops planted last October.

Winter rye and wheat were planted as nurse crops on the same day as the hemp. Nurse crops assist with weed control and preventing erosion without competing significantly for water and nutrients. The difference between these two nurse crops is like night and day!

Come and see how varieties, simple crop rotations and nurse crops can positively or negatively influence your 2023 crop. Plan to attend our Hemp Field Day on August 16 and 17. See the events page for more information, so you get the most from this dynamic crop!

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For more information, reach out to us on our Contact page.

For more information, reach out to us on our Contact page.