RICHMOND, Va. — Three universities in Virginia are conducting research on industrial hemp after the state legalized cultivation of the crop for research purposes two years ago.

The Roanoke Times reports that Virginia Tech, James Madison University and Virginia State University are researching different uses for the crop, which is the same species of cannabis plant as marijuana.

The General Assembly passed a law legalizing hemp cultivation for research reasons in 2015.

Tech is growing 18 different varieties of Hemp and has plans to research hemp-enforced concrete and using hemp fibers in car parts.

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