CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia is researching hemp and medical marijuana in collaboration with a plant biotechnology company.

Virginia biology professor Michael Timko says the research looks to renew the state as a leading producer of hemp and restore land depleted by tobacco and mining. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sunday that the first successful harvest of hemp plants was completed.

The harvest is one of several private-public partnerships conducting the research across the state. It comes after the first year of a three-year, $1.1 million sponsored research agreement between the university and 22nd Century Group Inc.

22nd Century Group's website says it is a plant biotechnology company with subsidiaries that manufacture products including commercial tobacco products, potentially less harmful cigarettes and cannabis-based products for human health.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com