The government of Edmonton, Canada, and the federal government have awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to two hemp companies operating in the province to help build their processing facilities. INCA was awarded $400,000 while Blue Sky Hemp Ventures received $500,000.
INCA is planning a facility in Vegreville that is expected to cost $72 million, while Blue Sky has proposed a $75 million facility in Alberta. Both projects are funded through the Emerging Opportunities program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which supports initiatives that contribute to significant sector growth and job creation in Alberta.
In a statement, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said that the province’s “hemp industry is helping to build a strong agriculture sector that creates jobs and brings tremendous opportunities to communities.”
“By producing, processing and creating value-added products within the province, the hemp industry can remain sustainable and agile, while seizing new opportunities in domestic and export markets.” – Bibeau in a press release
Doug Schweitzer, Alberta minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, said “Alberta’s hemp industry has seen significant growth over the past two decades and is playing an increasingly important role” in the provincial economy by “creating jobs and generating value-added products for exports.”
The INCA Renewtech project is expected to create demand for 54,000 tons of hemp biomass per year while adding $270 million in additional farm income over 25 years. The project will is expected to create more than 70 manufacturing jobs.
The funding will allow Blue Sky to scale up production of its cold-pressed, purified hemp seed oil which is used in cosmetic and food applications, and to scale up production of a hemp protein concentrate from the resulting meal. The new facility will have the capacity to process up to 35,000 tons of hemp grain and will be the first large-scale hemp food processing facility in the province. The facility is expected to create more than 90 new jobs in rural Alberta and $45 million of annual farm revenue for hemp grain.
The grants are part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is a five-year, $3 billion commitment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments that supports the nation’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors, including a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60% federally and 40% provincially and territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
(Note: All figures CAD)
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