In partnership with the federal government, the province of Alberta has awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to two hemp companies operating in the province to help build their processing facilities.
Hemp manufacturer INCA Renewtech was awarded $400,000, while hemp whole plant utilizer Blue Sky Hemp Ventures has received $500,000.
In a news release, the government said that INCA is planning a facility in Vegreville, Alta., that’s expected to cost $72 million, while Blue Sky has proposed a $75 million facility also 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.
The INCA facility will create demand for 54,000 tonnes of hemp biomass per year, adding $270 million in additional farm income over 25 years. “By purchasing and processing hemp in Alberta, the project will also create more than 70 new high-value manufacturing jobs and promote rural economic development,” the news release said.
And the new Blue Sky venture will allow that company to scale up production of its cold pressed, purified hemp seed oil for use in cosmetic and food applications, and to scale up production of a hemp protein concentrate from the resulting meal. The new Blue Sky facility will have the capacity to process up to 35,000 tonnes of hemp grain and will be the first large-scale hemp food processing facility in the province, the news release said, and will create more than 90 new jobs in rural Alberta and $45 million of annual farm revenue for hemp grain.