The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is excited to lead the emerging hemp market by combining plant science expertise with analytical chemistry services and market connections. Not only does IALR host the annual Industrial Hemp Summit attended by hundreds from across the globe, but it provides important testing and research services as well. As the hemp industry continues to gain momentum with the development of governing regulations and infrastructure, IALR is poised to serve as a critical resource for knowledge, networking, compliance and research.

Meet Our

Executive Director

Mr. Mark Gignac

[javascript protected email address]
Office: 434.766.6685
Mark Gignac
Meet The Team

Hemp testing Lab

Leveraging the expertise of an on-site Analytical Chemist and state-of-the-art analytical instruments, IALR stands ready to assist hemp growers and processors. High-quality testing services at an affordable rate ensure regulatory compliance and marketability.

Learn More

Hemp Research

Our innovative research on hemp spans a vast array of studies in numerous areas. These studies are intended to help bring uniformity and growth to an industry in its infancy. They are also designed to serve as resources and insight for the development of guidelines and governance policies. 

Learn More

Hemp Grower Expo

canceled DUE TO COVID-19

As the emerging hemp industry continues to evolve, questions keep rising about best practices. The January 2020 Hemp Grower Expo, the first of its kind in the region, helped growers more successfully prepare for the second growing season. To aid industry advancement, access was provided to critical resources, local providers and subject matter experts.

View photos from the 2020 Hemp Grower Expo



Industrial Hemp Summit

February 22-23, 2021

The 2020 event sold out with 400+ attendees, panelists and speakers. Thank you to all of the attendees, sponsors and volunteers.



Hemp Legal Summit

canceled DUE TO COVID-19

march 22, 2021

As the emerging hemp industry advances and evolves, an array of legal issues continues to require careful attention and consideration. This summit will bring together legal experts from across the Commonwealth of Virginia, the region and the country to address and clarify many of these matters in this first annual event. An agenda featuring meaningful conversations with legal and industry experts as well as change agents is under development and will be shared soon.

Hemp related Programs

As a leader in the nation’s hemp industry, IALR takes pride in sharing resources and knowledge with fellow stakeholders. Whether a grower desires to learn more about the testing process or an entrepreneur wants to understand commercial hemp opportunities, IALR offers a variety of program topics. The goal is to foster economic transformation with this versatile new crop.

Learn More 

"The quality of the [Industrial Hemp Summit] event, the information shared, and the people in attendance were incredible."
Tyler J. Russell & Allen N. Trask III / Ward and Smith Attorneys
"As a proud leader in agriculture, it is important for Virginia to continue to set the pace with premier technology and support to bring new crops to market. I am pleased to help the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research remain a cutting-edge facility with the services to meet and…"
Delegate Danny Marshall
"As the leading industry sector for the Commonwealth of Virginia, agriculture continues to grow and evolve in exciting new ways, including the introduction of new crops, which require and deserve accurate, reliable testing. We appreciate the support of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and champions across our state who…"
Mark Gignac / Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Hemp Testing 101

The new hemp industry offers exciting opportunities, but also introduces testing and compliance requirements which can sometimes be overwhelming. IALR offers a video series to delve into these topics and more in order to help stakeholders navigate this new terrain. IALR is committed to providing education and insight to help others succeed in this promising industry.