Government Invests in Alberta's Hemp Industry
In partnership with the federal government, Alberta has awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to help grow the province’s hemp industry.
INCA, a globally recognized hemp manufacturing company, will receive a grant of up to $400,000. INCA will use the funding to build a new $72-million hemp processing facility in Vegreville.
Blue Sky Hemp Ventures, a global leader in hemp whole plant utilization, will receive a grant of $500,000 to advance a proposed $75-million hemp food processing facility in Alberta.
“Alberta’s growing hemp industry is helping to build a strong agriculture sector that creates jobs and brings tremendous opportunities to communities across the province. 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.”
Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“By purchasing hemp directly from Alberta’s farmers and processing it here in the province, these projects will mitigate production risks for producers and create new value-added hemp products that will help grow Alberta’s thriving hemp industry.”
Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development
“Alberta’s hemp industry has seen significant growth over the past two decades and is playing an increasingly important role in our economy, creating jobs and generating value-added products for exports. While the province is now Canada’s top hemp producer, growing 40 per cent of the country’s hemp, there are more opportunities for growth and diversification in the agri-processing industry. This investment will not only increase the demand for Alberta-grown hemp, it will also create new manufacturing and processing jobs for Albertans.”
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
“Today’s announcement is an example of a unique, high-impact investment that combines agri-tech, cleantech and innovation. Alberta’s welcoming business climate and hemp supercluster continue to position the province as a destination of choice for new and exciting investment opportunities as this industry continues to take root across Alberta.”
Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta
“Hemp is a multibillion-dollar industry that is growing exponentially. By creating this space and supporting value-added opportunities such as INCA and Blue Sky, Alberta can lead Canada’s hemp industry and attract more global attention and investments.”
Manny Deol, executive director, Alberta Hemp Alliance
Both projects are funded through the Emerging Opportunities program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which supports strategic initiatives that contribute to significant sector growth and job creation in Alberta.
- As part of the venture, INCA will transform hemp fibre into natural fibre composites in Alberta for further manufacturing.
- The 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.
“I’m proud to support this significant investment through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that will further diversify our agriculture sector and create good jobs right here in Vegreville at INCA’s $72-million hemp processing facility.”
Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville
“I, along with members of Vegreville Town Council, have long believed our community could serve as a potential hub for North America’s burgeoning hemp industry. We would like to thank INCA, as well as MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk and the provincial and federal governments for their investment, faith, and shared vision. I’d also like to specifically thank Alberta Innovates. Vegreville is fortunate to be home to some of the brightest minds in the hemp research industry and their efforts in advocating for our community helped make this opportunity a reality.”
Tim MacPhee, mayor, Town of Vegreville
“INCA Renewtech is delighted to join a talented consortium from agriculture, industry and the public sector to create the Alberta hemp supercluster. The governments of Canada and Alberta have been generous in supporting the project and we very much look forward to working with them to make the hemp supercluster an important part of the Alberta economy."
David Saltman, CEO, INCA Renewtech
Blue Sky Hemp Ventures
- The new venture will allow Blue Sky to scale up production of its innovative 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 improved functional properties of these new offerings will significantly expand the market for hemp foods.
- The new Alberta 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 facility will create more than 90 new jobs in rural Alberta and $45 million of annual farm revenue for hemp grain.
“This announcement firmly demonstrates the Alberta government’s commitment to fostering the enormous growth potential of the hemp industry. Together, with INCA, we look forward to maximizing the value to farmer by utilizing the whole hemp crop while producing healthy food ingredients and sustainable industrial products.”
Andrew Potter, CEO, Blue Sky Hemp Ventures
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 percent federally and 40 percent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
- Programs and activities are focused on:
- growing trade and expanding markets
- innovative and sustainable growth of the sector
- supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector
- In Alberta, the Partnership has committed a federal-provincial investment of up to $406 million over five years towards strategic programs and services that are aligned to national objectives and tailored to priorities in Alberta.