CORVALLIS, Ore. – Business, political and governmental leaders, including a U.S. Senator and representatives from the Sierra Club and American multinational conglomerate corporation 3M, will provide a future outlook on the hemp industry during the first-ever National Hemp Symposium Feb. 9 and 10.

The virtual event will be hosted by Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center and the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, a major program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

In 2019, Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences launched the Global Hemp Innovation Center, the largest, most comprehensive hemp research center in the nation. The launch coincided with hemp being removed from the federal list of controlled substances. Hemp has the potential to impact a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, health, energy, defense, manufacturing, food and beverage, transportation and construction.

“We are at a critical time for the newly emerging American hemp industry that depends on research for science-based decision-making to accelerate progress towards stable production and dependable markets,” said Jay Noller, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center. “This symposium will offer a deep dive into some of these most pressing challenges and opportunities facing the hemp industry as the future is truly limited only by our imagination. We seek a 2050 vision of the widespread incorporation of hemp across the U.S. economy.”

The symposium will be moderated by Patricia Sheikh of the National Industrial Hemp Council. Speakers include: Sen. Jeff Merkley; Courtney Moran of Earth Law, LLC; John Plaza of SkyNRG; Ted Treanor and Douglas Boon of 7 Generations; Rhett Jeffries of the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research; Don Davidson of 3M; and Deanie Elsner of Charlotte’s Web.

Other speakers include: Ross MacFarlane of the Sierra Club; Gregg Baumbaugh of Flexform Technologies; Jim Jeffs of Powder River Ranch; Mark Freeman, a global food services innovator; Michael Sander of Sortis; Bonnie Petersen of Washington Commerce; and Patrick Atagi of the National Industrial Hemp Council.

Proceeds from conference will support the Global Hemp Innovation Center's Hemp Equity Program and faculty research.

Registration is open for the conference, which also includes a hemp film festival. For more information about this virtual conference and to register to attend visit:

College of Agricultural Sciences

About the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences: Through its world-class research on agriculture and food systems, natural resource management, rural economic development and human health, the College provides solutions to Oregon’s most pressing challenges and contributes to a sustainable environment and a prosperous future for Oregonians.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Jay Noller, 541-737-9119, [email protected]


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