Feral Hemp, aka “Ditch Weed”


Feral Hemp aka “Ditch Weed”

There are no publicly available seed collections of hemp (Cannabis Sativa) in the United States after previous collections were destroyed when the government never expected hemp would return as a crop. However, this prohibition has now effectively ended.

The Hemp Farming Act, part of the 2018 Farm Bill, removed hemp, previously labeled a Schedule 1 narcotic, from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Now that hemp is once again federally legal to grow there is a great need develop a new seed bank so researchers and breeders can produce high quality and high yielding cultivars that are regionally adaptive.

Despite active efforts to kill feral hemp populations throughout the Midwest, there are still large standing populations. Collecting seeds from these populations will be key to the success of the hemp industry in the United States.

If you are aware of any feral hemp populations, please contact Dr. Shelby Ellison of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Ellison will send along collection instructions or make arrangements
to collect seeds.

Feral Hemp Flyer

Please Contact: Shelby Ellison, PhD
Department of Horticulture | University of Wisconsin, Madison
1575 Linden Dr. | Madison, WI 53703 | 715-570-0217 | slrepinski@wisc.edu