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Former CU Regent Bob Sievers studying medicinal uses for hemp

Where alfalfa once grew on a plot in unincorporated Boulder County, fledgling hemp plants are pushing skyward.

On a recent weekday, Bob Sievers settled under a white canopy to shield himself from the sun and watched as workers dug holes by hand to fill long rows with hemp plants. The 83-year-old is a part-time University of Colorado professor, former CU regent and researcher. The university once described him as “the former CU regent who catalyzed the move of the university’s medical campus to the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, … a leading force in transforming the CU-Boulder campus into a hub of environmental research and scholarship, (and) an indefatigable crusader in the effort to eradicate measles worldwide with dry, inhalable vaccines.”

He’s also, now, a registered industrial hemp farmer and is studying its potential medical benefits as a side project. His industrial registration allows him to legally farm hemp for study.

He’s leasing about a half-acre of a larger hemp plot outside Lafayette, where this year he will grow about 1,000 plants, which can have no more than 0.3 percent THC, the principal psychoactive component in cannabis.