Pyxus International, Inc. (NYSE: PYX) said Tuesday that it signed an agreement with Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to support and fund a research project on CBD-oriented hemp production.
Pyxus entered the cannabis space last year by obtaining majority stakes in two Canadian cannabis producers, as well as a cultivation license.
The company was previously a global tobacco wholesaler and distributor known as Alliance One International. It changed its name to Pyxus in 2018 as it shifted into the agricultural sector; the tobacco business continues to operate under the Alliance One name.
The company is also focused on the production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD.
Cornell and Pyxus have formed an alliance to obtain the knowledge the CBD industry requires in order to develop high-quality CBD with good farming practices, Larry Smart, Cornell's professor of plant breeding and genetics, said in a statement.
"Hemp production manuals already exist for grain and fiber; however, equivalent science-based information on hemp production for natural, plant-based cannabinoids and CBD is entirely lacking."
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Both partners are expecting that the knowledge obtained will benefit growers and processors with science-based data that will allow for better crops and lower risks.
Bryan Mazur, Pyxus' executive vice president of global specialty products, said the company is committed to hemp production and cultivation.
"We are eager to learn from Cornell's expertise and research in the field and are excited that this partnership will eventually be part of an even larger Pyxus initiative with additional partners and resources."
The project is expected to go on for years. Pyxus and Cornell University have established four goals for the first year:
- Evaluating and comparing commercially available cultivars of hemp grown for CBD.
- Conducting a detailed study of cannabinoid production over the course of the plant's floral development.
- Observing the effects of controlled stress treatments on cannabinoid levels.
- Extending knowledge of CBD hemp cultivars and cannabinoid accumulation to growers.
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