Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center announced on Monday it received a $10 million grant to work with 13 Native American tribes for hemp economic development. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and seeks to develop sustainable supply chains based on the needs identified by an intertribal business consortium in an effort to link regional hemp production, processing, and manufacturing to create hemp products.   

In a statement, Jeffrey Steiner, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center, said that “there is still significant interest and potential in industrial uses of hemp” despite the production of hemp dropping off significantly throughout the U.S. by 2020. Interest in the industry, and subsequent planting of hemp, had surged following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. 

“But it’s critical that investment decisions be based on sound science and business planning to build out and scale up economic development opportunities with hemp, particularly to benefit Tribal nations and other American rural communities.” — Steiner in a press release 

The project goals, according to the outline submitted to the NIFA, are to “provide tribal leaders, financial decision-makers, policymakers, federal agency service providers, regulators, and technology providers with the business and science information needed to evaluate the merits of investing in a hemp-based bioeconomy on reservations and across the region.” 

The outline adds that the project will address multiple supply chain components, including “field-to-harvest-to-processing-to-biobased manufacturing facilities, and identify opportunities to increase system efficiencies towards improved triple-bottom-line performances of materials and products manufactured from industrial hemp.”  

The 13 tribes partnering with Oregon State come from within the geographical boundaries of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and California, along with the University of California Davis, University of Nevada, Reno, and Washington State University; Stone Child College; College of the Redwoods, which are U.S. land grant universities. The partnership also includes the USDA Agricultural Research Service, 7 Generations LLC, the Indigenous Habitat Institute, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, and hemp and other bio-based product manufactures and businesses. 

Get daily Cannabis business news updates. Subscribe

Have an additional perspective to share? Send us a message to let us know, and if your comment is chosen by our editors it could be featured here.

Source link