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Laboratory for Cellular Metabolism and Engineering Home of the Gang Lab

Hemp Research at WSU

The Gang lab is the leading hemp research lab in Washington State.

We work closely with industry partners and with researchers at other major research universities that include hemp as a focus.

We are working on several hemp-focused projects with our major Western regional partners Oregon State University, UC Davis and the University of Nevada, Reno:

  • One project is funded by NIFA SAS and is identifying key factors needed to build a hemp bioeconomy in the west coast states.
  • A second project works also with the USDA ARS National Germplasm Collection Hemp Curators and is repopulating the hemp germplasm collection.
  • A third project is a large national variety trial effort, led by the University of Kentucky and focusing on dual-crop hemp varieties. We are also evaluating both grain and fiber hemp varieties alongside the dual crop types.
  • A fourth project is funded by the USDA/NRCS and supports development and adoption of climate smart agricultural practices, particularly those that integrate hemp as a rotational crop, in high soil disturbance agricultural systems such as potato production.

In those projects, we work closely with Tribal partners in our region, particularly the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe, the Tulalip Tribe, and the Yakama Nation, among others in Oregon, Nevada and California.

Other hemp projects include:

  • A recently initiated project that seeks to understand how Cannabis sativa plants (using hemp varieties as the model) uptake pesticides such as DDT and its derivatives DDE and DDD. This project is funded by Washington State’s Department of Ecology.
  • Identification of metabolic and other processes that regulate production of specific specialized metabolites in hemp.
  • The interaction between hemp and biochar in soil health promotion.
  • Working with regional hemp breeders to develop hemp varieties that are optimized for Washington State cultivation.
  • Evaluation of hemp testing procedures for their reproducibility, robustness and suitability for use in hemp regulatory compliance.
  • A partnership with a South Korean Company (Ag-Uni) to establish hemp culitivation in their Air Dome system in South Korea.

Dr. Gang holds the Washington State hemp production license for WSU and provides support for other researchers at WSU interested in working with hemp, such as:

  • Working with WSU students to evaluate the nature and extent of pest and pathogen impact on different hemp varieties.

Dr. Gang also provides scientific expertise and advice to other state agencies on topics related to hemp and high-THC cannabis, thereby supporting policy related efforts within the state.

WSU is also a sponsor/partner of the Cannabis Research Conference, held annually in Colorado, with Dr. Gang organizing several scientific and policy sessions at the conference. CRC 2024 will be held August 7 – 9, 2024 in Fort Collns, CO, check out the CRC 2024 website.