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Clemson partners with Curio Wellness for cannabis tissue research

      The Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences is working with Curio Wellness to conduct a two-year research project to advance plant tissue science for the medical cannabis industry.

      Headquartered in Timonium, Md., Curio Wellness is a licensed medical cannabis company and innovator of health and wellness products derived from cannabis.

      “Clemson University is recognized as one of the top agricultural and horticultural schools in the world,” Matt Taylor said, applied science director for Curio Wellness, said in a news release. “Through our partnership, we are building the knowledge base for cannabis tissue culture, which in its current state is inadequately understood. The ultimate goal is genetic preservation, which will enable us to continue cultivating high quality, plant-based medicine for patients in Maryland and beyond.”

      Tissue culture is an important tool in horticulture and involves growing plants aseptically, or in an environment free of microorganisms and pathogens. The aim is to protect plants from viral pathogens while improving production efficiency, the news release said.

      Jeff Adelberg, an expert in plant tissue culture and a horticulture professor at Clemson, will lead a team involving both the University and Curio Wellness in the study.

      “This project is unique in that both organizations will conduct research using our individual plant collections,” Adelberg said in the release. “Research conducted at Clemson will be shared with Curio for use on their plants in Maryland. They have the medical expertise to create the best products from cannabis. This collaboration creates an opportunity for researchers from both institutions to use their knowledge to benefit people.”

      The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill established the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hemp Production Program, legalizing industrial hemp production. The S.C. program is administered by the S.C. Department of Agriculture.

      Clemson’s research involves using industrial hemp, a strain of the same plant as marijuana but without intoxicating effects. Legal production began in South Carolina in 2019.

      Curio Wellness CEO Michael Bronfein said the research collaboration is an example of the company’s commitment to innovation that reimagines the way medical cannabis is cultivated and delivered to patients.

      “At Curio, everything we do is rooted in scientifically derived methods and processes, which means our investment in research and development is fundamental to our operating strategy and the quality and consistency of our products,” Bronfein said in the release. “This research partnership with Clemson is a prime example of how Curio is investing in the future of medical cannabis for our patients and everyone in need of safe, effective and reliable health solutions.”

      The research begins in August.

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