A keynote talk by a leading U.S. cannabinoid researcher is among the highlights of the third annual Industrial Hemp Conference, scheduled for Feb. 26.

Dr. John McPartland, a Middlebury osteopathic physician and consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, will describe the challenges he’s faced when working with the controversial cannabis crop. His presentation kicks off the conference, a virtual event that will run from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and will feature researchers and industry experts from Vermont, Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado and several other states.

The non-refundable fee is $75 per person, which covers the choice of five live concurrent sessions, all on-demand prerecorded sessions, virtual visits with exhibitors and vendors and future access to video recordings of the conference. Registrations will be accepted until Feb. 25 at noon at go.uvm.edu/hempregistration.

Prior to the conference, registrants will receive an email with username and password to log in. Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate should contact University of Vermont (UVM) Student Accessibility Services at access@uvm.edu or 802.656.7753.

Speaker highlights include Cornell University plant pathologist Gary Bergstrom on diseases affecting hemp in the Northeast and Colorado State University entomologist Whitney Cranshaw on identification and management of insects and mites in North American hemp. Nick Stromberg of Beacon Hemp, Santa Rosa, CA, will discuss feminized seed production.

Two University of Kentucky researchers also will present at the virtual conference. Agronomist Bob Pearce will discuss CBD and THC accumulation in floral hemp cultivars, including implications for compliance testing and harvest scheduling. Economist Tyler Mark will explore the impact of marketing and regulations on the hemp industry in 2021 and future years.

Other sessions will focus on cannabis agronomics, best practices for drying and curing hemp and food safety in hemp products manufacturing, among other topics. A multi-state presentation on growing and processing hemp in the Northeast will feature speakers from Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. In addition, several growers will participate in farmer panels to share their experiences growing hemp from seed to sale.

The conference is sponsored by the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. To learn more, go to go.uvm.edu/2021hempconference or contact Susan Brouillette at 802.524.6501 ext. 432 or susan.brouillette@uvm.edu.