Australian philanthropists back hemp initiatives in USA

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A new fund launched by Australian philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert will provide a $2 million boost to the U.S. state of Pennsylvania’s hemp industry by supporting initiatives at Thomas Jefferson University which promote the crop.

The money will be used to establish the Lambert Innovation Fund within Jefferson’s Innovation Pillar, and to invest in hemp companies in the region. “The Lambert Innovation Fund will enable us to link ideas to impact” Stephen Klasko, president of Thomas Jefferson University told local media.

Funding innovation

The Jefferson Innovation Pillar encourages and fosters ideas with the goal of converting them into products and services. To date, Jefferson has licensed more than 100 inventions and started more than 25 new ventures that have gone on to raise upwards of $200 million.

In 2016, the Lambert couple gifted Thomas Jefferson University $3 million towards medicinal cannabis and hemp research with the establishment of the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp.

Personal experience

“Research into hemp is important to me and Joy, because we’ve seen it work,” Barry Lambert told local media. “Medicine derived from hemp gave relief to our granddaughter’s seizures, and our hope is that this new fund will provide resources and inspiration for innovations and products that help others.”

Pennsylvania, like many US states has seen an influx of capital into its cannabis and hemp industries in recent times. Two months ago it was announced that Canadian giant Canopy Growth is also investing in the region.

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