SoCal Hemp JV LLC (“SoCal Hemp”) is pleased to announce that it has renewed its local partnership with Victorville, California’s Victor Valley College (“VVC”) to support student research into desert hemp farming, hemp product marketing and development. SoCal Hemp is a joint venture partnership between Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI), the largest agricultural operation in San Bernardino County, and Glass House Farms, one of California’s most successful legal cannabis growers, dedicated to growing hemp in California’s Mojave Desert and developing and marketing hemp-derived products nationwide.
Through the partnership with VVC, which was established last year, SoCal Hemp is supporting VVC’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Department’s ongoing research into best practices for farming hemp in a desert environment, while fostering practical educational opportunities for VVC students pursuing careers in the agriculture industry.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Victor Valley College, a local community leader that shares our goal of successful and sustainable desert agricultural development of hemp,” said Graham Farrar, President of SoCal Hemp. “For centuries, hemp has been successfully grown around the world supporting thousands of important products. The United States is behind in understanding its true potential. Together with VVC, we can demystify hemp for the country and for California with research and data and unlock its true potential.”
SoCal Hemp and VVC are actively exploring and developing various growing, irrigation, and cultivation techniques for industrial hemp. This research has continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic and is focused on appropriate irrigation and wind break methods for the desert environment, using native vegetation and drip irrigation.
Led by VVC Professor Neville Slade, students frequent the Cadiz Ranch cultivation site, Cadiz Inc.’s 9,600-acre agricultural property in the Mojave Desert, to collect agronomic data and samples alongside SoCal Hemp’s workforce.
“Our partnership with SoCal Hemp aligns with Victor Valley College’s mission to support local career opportunity and advancement,” said Professor Slade. “Innovation in farming is key to sustainability and success, and we are grateful for the partnership with SoCal Hemp, which helps us properly train our students through real-world experience working with an exciting new crop for our region that offers tremendous potential for economic success and environmental benefit.”
The SoCal Hemp and VVC research partnership is focused on developing techniques and best practices for the harvest, processing, extraction, commercialization, and marketing of hemp and hemp-derived products grown in desert environments. An important component of the research program is studying how the harvested material in a desert location like Cadiz can enter the market and benefit the broader agricultural community. All yield and economic data are being shared with VVC in the hopes of supporting the understanding of the market viability of sun-grown hemp in California.
The Research Project will continue through 2022.
About the partners
SoCal Hemp is a 50-50 joint venture partnership of Cadiz and Glass House Group. Cadiz Inc., a publicly-traded natural resources development company, has farmed its 35,000-acre eastern Mojave Desert property for over thirty years. The Cadiz Ranch has a varied crop mix, and has successfully grown grapes, lemons, and seasonable fruit and vegetables. Glass House Group is one of the largest California-licensed, vertically-integrated cannabis and hemp companies in the United States.
Victor Valley College is a public community college in the southeast corner of Victorville, California. It is part of the California Community College System and has approximately 12,000 students. The Agriculture and Natural Resource (AGNR) Department offers students workforce skills to enter the rapidly evolving career fields agricultural development and natural resources management, as well as educational pathways to assist students to transfer to higher education in this specialty.