Arcadia Specialty Genomics announced plans for a new sun-grown hemp cultivation and agronomic research facility in Imperial County, California. The company has been licensed to produce hemp seed and cultivate hemp and will generate its proprietary seed lines and flower for cannabidiol (CBD) oil extraction. Plantings are scheduled to begin October 1.

With this license, Arcadia Specialty Genomics expands its technology platform for the research and cultivation of hemp to a second state. In April, the company opened its first sun-grown facility in Hawaii, capitalizing on the islands’ unique climate and geographic advantages. Similar to Hawaii, which allows up to three growing cycles per season, Southern California’s temperate winter climate offers unique and favorable conditions for hemp cultivation. The sun shines in Imperial County more, on average, than anywhere else on the U.S. mainland.

“From an agricultural perspective, hemp is decades behind other crops in terms of improved plant genetics, and that starts at the seed level,” says Matthew Plavan, president and CEO of Arcadia Biosciences. “It’s very difficult to purchase a batch of uniform CBD hemp seed, resulting in unpredictable outcomes for both growers and buyers. Our goal is to reduce these risks by developing a proprietary line of U.S.-grown, genetically superior hemp seeds for the commercial market, and we’re pleased to expand our research in hemp agronomics and seed production here in our home state of California.”

The announcement of this second hemp research and cultivation facility underscores Arcadia’s commitment to rapidly transition its expertise as a leading science-driven company and genetics innovator in food crops such as wheat and soy into the production of hemp seed, flower and extracts such as CBD.

“Quality hemp seed is in extremely short supply; however, strong demand for hemp seed has driven higher prices without commensurate yield benefits. Until improved genetics are introduced to the market, we believe the scalability of the hemp extract industry will be constrained,” says Plavan. “Our team of agronomic scientists and researchers are the best in the business, with a proven track record of improving plants and commercializing food ingredients using non-GM techniques. We’re ideally positioned to help hemp growers – and CPG buyers – benefit from more resilient, productive and genetically superior hemp seed, flower and extract.”