Stateside: What we do (and don’t) know about CBD benefits; cover crops; do tax incentives work?

Oct 4, 2019

Today on Stateside, the potential of the cannabis compound CBD as a treatment for people with chronic pain. Plus, a study out of North Carolina State University breaks down why the tax incentives states use to lure businesses might not be paying off.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Scientists think CBD oil could be medically beneficial, but say more research is needed

  • CBD is a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis. It’s becoming popular for treating chronic pain and other ailments, and it was recently approved by the FDA to treat childhood epilepsy. However, regulation has yet to catch up with the booming market of CBD products.
  • Kevin Boehnke studies the effect of CBD on chronic pain at the University of Michigan Medical School. He discussed the potential of the compound, as well as the shortcomings of current regulation practices.
  • This segment originally aired May 31, 2019.

Environmental groups say increase in factory farms feeding bacteria blooms in Lake Erie

  • Algal blooms are a growing problem in Lake Erie and can lead to toxins in the water under the right circumstances. The Environmental Working Group and the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) investigated the sources of the nutrients feeding the algal blooms.
  • Stateside spoke to Madeline Fleisher, senior attorney with the ELPC, about their effort to document the increase in the number of so-called factory farms in the watershed of the Maumee River, which flows into Lake Erie.
  • This segment originally aired April 12, 2019.

Do states’ business tax incentives pay off? Usually not, says new study.

  • Do tax incentives draw enough business to states that they actually recoup their investment? It depends on the incentive. Recent research out of North Carolina State University looked at all the tax incentives offered by 32 states from 1990 to 2015. Bruce McDonald, who led the that research, told us that very few of those incentives actually improved states' financial health.
  • This segment originally aired May 31, 2019.

Drones help farmers be more efficient while managing pests, tracking plant growth

  • Technology on the farm is advancing all the time, most recently in the form of drones. With the right sensors, drones can check on crop pests, soil moisture, and even look at plant growth in a more standardized way than a spot check by a farmer.
  • We spoke to geospatial analyst Robert Goodwin about how drones are used now, and might be used on farms in the future. Goodwin works at the Michigan State University’s Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.
  • This segment originally aired August 30, 2019.

Cover crops could help Michigan farmers and the environment

  • Stateside’s Lester Graham recently visited Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station at Hickory Corners near Battle Creek. Phil Robertson is a University Distinguished Professor of Ecosystem Science. He talked about a farming method that’s not used very often used in Michigan, but might be helpful in the effort to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. 

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