Hemp Remediation Project

South Chicago Urban Farm

Cannabis: A Metal Hyperaccumulator

There are many plants that are metal hyperaccumulators, meaning they accumulate higher-than-average amounts of heavy metals in their aerial parts, and cannabis is one of these plant species. Cannabis roots can be especially efficient at attracting and breaking down heavy metal contaminants in the soil. With other plants, this remediation process often takes a long time, sometimes up to 10 years, but cannabis has the potential to speed up this process, as well as mediate soil erosion and overall site degradation.

While hemp is likely to be used as a rotation crop on rural farms to enrich the soil, hemp also has great potential to detoxify and remediate land in urban environments. Soil in Chicago, especially in areas with a history of industrial manufacturing, is often contaminated by heavy metal pollution and other toxins. Chicagoans can take a proactive approach to land remediation with hemp. Similar to urban soil remediation projects with mushrooms, hemp can help detoxify contaminated land for growing of food or brownfield sites prior to development and EPA inspection process.

remediation options
Strategies for contaminated soil from the Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit

Phytoremediation Initiative

As part of our remediation initiative at Chicago Cannabis Company, we are giving away 100,000 hemp seeds (each) to three urban farms that may be eligible to apply for a hemp cultivation license under Illinois hemp laws. 100,000 hemp fiber plants can cover approximately 1/4 of an acre.

How it works:

  • Fill out our application form
  • Selected sites will work with our team to test soil for metals and toxins before, during, and after hemp planting/harvesting

As the 2018 Farm Bill directed the US Department of Agriculture to provide funding to conduct research on soil remediation practices, data gathered from the project will be used to apply for further funding.