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Arcadia Biosciences wants to build a better hemp seed in California's Imperial County

The company's crop innovation division plans to develop a proprietary, genetically-superior hemp seed

Hemp seeds, plants and oil
"From an agricultural perspective, hemp is decades behind other crops in terms of improved plant genetics," CEO Matt Plavan said

Arcadia Biosciences Inc’s (NASDAQ:RKDA) division of crop innovation unveiled plans Thursday for a sun-grown hemp cultivation and research operation in California. 

Arcadia Specialty Genomics will produce hemp seed and cultivate hemp itself to generate proprietary seed lines and flower for cannabidiol extraction, the company said in a statement.

Planting is expected to begin on October 1.

For Arcadia, the move marks the expansion of its hemp operations into a second US state after launching in Hawaii earlier this year. The facility is located in Imperial County, California, which includes the state’s southeasternmost tip.

READ: Arcadia Biosciences inks deal for commercialization of its high fiber resistant starch wheat in key markets; unveils CEO succession plan

Like Hawaii, which delivers three grow cycles per year, California’s warmth is advantageous for hemp growers, the company said. 

In fact, according to 2012 data from NASA and the CDC, Imperial County is the sunniest country in the lower 48 states. 

The goal, Arcadia CEO Matt Plavan said, is to bring hemp out of the dark ages and into the 21st century of crop genetics. 

"From an agricultural perspective, hemp is decades behind other crops in terms of improved plant genetics, and that starts at the seed level," Plavan said in a statement. 

"It's very difficult to purchase a batch of uniform CBD hemp seed, resulting in unpredictable outcomes for both growers and buyers,” added Plavan. “Our goal is to reduce these risks by developing a proprietary line of US-grown, genetically superior hemp seeds for the commercial market.”

Shares of Arcadia slipped 5.9% on Thursday to $7.52.

—Updated to include stock movement—

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Arcadia Biosciences Inc

Price: 3.255 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $34.84 m

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