Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



For centuries, the hemp plant has been recognized as a robust and renewable source of raw material for a host of purposes. However, for decades United States law conflated hemp with marijuana, and it fell out of use. Now, with such restrictions lifted, hemp has a bright future as a sustainable, high-value raw material for consumer and industrial products.

“Realizing that potential will require a lot of fundamental planning and development work, conceiving and establishing systems and platforms essential for building robust agricultural- and manufacturing-focused hemp industries,” says Ronald Kander, PhD, associate provost for applied research and dean of Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. Success will require the convergence of a broad array of expertise, perspectives and tools—ranging from plant biology, biochemistry and textile engineering, to economics and systems management.