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Can HBCUs Capitalize on the Hemp Rush?

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The landscape for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is rapidly changing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and new proposals on the horizon at the national level from the Biden administration. It will be incumbent on institutions to adapt their programming to meet the changing needs of the economic environment. They will need to be economic engines as well as learning institutions.

The future progress for HBCUs will hinge on them being at the cutting edge of creating opportunities to help students make money, earn credentials, and build an economic base for their communities. One emerging opportunity is industrial hemp and the derivatives and products associated with it like hempcrete, biodegradable hemp-based plastic, rope, clothing, building materials, and fiber. There is major enterprising potential for institutions that have the foresight to position themselves to be able to take advantage of what is in large part an industry that is still taking shape in the United States.

The chance to participate in an emerging market like this is rare. Those who play major roles in shaping and giving definition to this industry will have first dibs on the spoils from both an economic and environmental point of view. HBCUs can be involved […]

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