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Alberta’s hemp industry receives financial support

Alberta’s hemp industry receives financial support

Two industry businesses will receive $900,000 in grants

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two levels of government are working together to support Alberta’s hemp sector.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the federal and provincial governments are investing a total of $900,000 into two processing facilities.

INCA Renewtech, which uses hemp to create multiple products, is receiving $400,000 to build a new $72-million hemp processing facility in Vegreville, Alta.

The new plant is expected to be operational by 2024 and create up to 100 jobs by 2026.

The new facility will purchase about 54,000 tonnes of hemp biomass per year and transform the fibre into natural fibre composites in Alberta for further manufacturing.

Those will be converted into multiple products, said David Saltman, CEO of INCA Renewtech.

“We’ll turn this renewable resource into biopanels for the RV industry, bioplastics for the automotive industry and bioBalsa for the wind energy,” he said on April 21, adding Winnebago and Toyota are commercialization partners with the company.

The second grant is going to Blue Sky Hemp Ventures.

The company will receive a $500,000 grant to advance a proposed $75-million hemp food processing location in Alberta.

This undertaking will allow Blue Sky to increase production of cold pressed purified hemp seed oil for use in cosmetic and food applications, and to scale up production of a hemp protein concentrate.

It’s estimated the facility will be able to process 35,000 tonnes of hemp grain per year, create more than 90 jobs and add $45 million of annual farm revenue from hemp grain.

“We will work with INCA to utilize the whole crop and leave absolutely nothing to waste,” Andrew Potter, CEO of Blue Sky Hemp Ventures, said on April 21. “This whole plant utilization approach allows both companies to maximize value for farmers and sequester large amounts of (carbon).”

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