Arcadia Biosciences Inc.’s (RKDA) shares were up 28% in premarket hours on Monday after the company received an industrial hemp pilot program license from Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture.
The license allows the company to cultivate industrial hemp in Hawaii for research purposes through its new unit, Arcadia Specialty Genomics. Arcadia will start planting on ten acres of leased land next month. Hawaii is the first state to commence this program, which will also allow the commercial sale of hemp products.
Last week, Arcadia unveiled its new division, Arcadia Specialty Genomics, which will focus on improving the quality, yield and climate resiliency of cannabis. The company’s stock jumped 68% on the announcement.
Matt Plavan, CFO of Arcadia Biosciences and President of Arcadia Specialty Genomics said, “Industrial hemp, along with all strains of cannabis, are decades behind other agricultural crops in terms of improved plant genetics. With the explosive market growth projected in the industrial hemp and derivative markets, growers will need the very best hemp strains to meet demand, minimize waste, and ensure consistent quality. As the only company working in the cannabis industry with proven track record of improving plants and commercializing food ingredients from agricultural products using non-GM techniques, we’re ideally positioned to help hemp growers and end-users benefit from better hemp strains.”
The marijuana sector has been seeing rapid growth over the past couple of years. According to market research firm, Brightfield Group, cannabis sales are projected to reach $22 billion by 2022.