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AAMU's Oregon Collaboration Reaping Benefits

OSU Collab, Intern
January 25, 2023

OSU Student Interns at A&M's Research Station

Hemp research is a big deal in the United States and, fortunately, Alabama A&M University researchers jumped on the band wagon early.  Because of a long-running affiliation with the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), AAMU scientists were postured to establish meaningful collaborations during the formation in 2019 of the Global Hemp Innovation Center (GHIC), based at Oregon State University. 

Over time, teams at the two institutions were able to hold discussions and to formalize a partnership leading to research collaboration.  Now, in early 2023, principals at AAMU and OSU are beginning to reap rewards for their insightful efforts. 

Those hard-won gains are personified in OSU horticulture undergraduate Le’Waski Watkins, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who is not only seeking to become a better scholar but to receive some valuable tools to build his business, Imperial Growth.  According to OSU publications, Watkins said he chose his major specifically because of the impact hemp and cannabis had in changing his successful battle against sarcoma four years ago.

Through the AAMU-OSU connection and Dr. Ernst Cebert, Le’Waski was able to intern at AAMU’s Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station during his return to Alabama last summer.  While at A&M, he was able to conduct research on the non-addictive active ingredient in cannabis commonly referred to as CBD.  His aim was to gain data on how hemp adapts to different climates in the U.S.

For more about the AAMU's OSU collaboration and Le’Waski’s goals, visit the POSTS of GHIC’s Jeff Steiner.