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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Investing in the hemp industry in Alberta

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In partnership with the federal government, Alberta has awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to help grow the province’s cannabis industry.

INCA, the globally recognized cannabis manufacturer, will receive a grant of up to $400,000. INCA will use the funding to build a new $72 million cannabis processing facility in Vigreville.

Blue Sky Hemp Ventures, the global leader in the use of the entire hemp plant, will receive a $500,000 grant to advance a proposed $75 million hemp food processing facility in Alberta.

Alberta’s growing cannabis industry is helping to build a strong agricultural sector that creates jobs and provides tremendous opportunities for communities across the province. By producing, processing and creating value-added products within the province, the cannabis industry can remain sustainable and resilient, while seizing new opportunities in the local and export markets.

Marie-Claude BeboAnd Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“By purchasing hemp directly from Alberta growers 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 cannabis industry.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development

“Alberta’s cannabis industry has experienced significant growth over the past two decades and plays an increasingly important role in our economy, providing jobs and producing value-added products for exports. While the province is now Canada’s largest producer of cannabis, 40 percent of the cannabis plant is grown. In the country, however, there are more opportunities for growth and diversification in the agro-processing industry. This investment will not only increase demand for hemp grown in Alberta, but also create new manufacturing and processing jobs for Albertans.”

Doug Schweizer, Minister for Jobs, Economy and Innovation

Today’s announcement is an example of a unique, high-impact investment that combines agricultural technology, clean technology, and innovation. Alberta’s welcoming business climate and the giant cannabis group continues to position the province as a preferred destination for exciting new investment opportunities as the industry continues to take root throughout Alberta.”

Rick Christiani, CEO of Invest Alberta

Hemp is a multi-billion dollar industry that is steadily growing. By creating this space and supporting value-added opportunities such as INCA and Blue Sky, Alberta can lead the Canadian cannabis industry and attract more global interest and investment.”

Manny Deol, CEO, Alberta Hemp Alliance

Both projects are funded by 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 project, INCA will convert hemp fibers into natural fiber compounds in Alberta for further industrialization.
  • The facility will create demand for 54,000 tons of hemp biomass annually, 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 boost rural economic development.

“I am proud to support this important investment through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that will further diversify our farming sector and create good jobs here in Figreville at INCA’s $72 million hemp processing facility.”

Jackie Armstrong Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

“I, along with members of the Vegreville City Council, have long believed that our community can serve as a potential hub for the burgeoning cannabis industry in North America. 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 would also I would like to specifically thank Alberta Innovates. Vigreville is fortunate to be home to some of the brightest minds in the cannabis research industry, and their efforts to advocate for our community have helped make this opportunity a reality.”

Tim McPhee, Mayor of Vegreville

INCA Renewtech is pleased to join a talented consortium of agriculture, industry and the public sector to create the Alberta Cannabis Giant Group. 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 cannabis super cluster an important part of Alberta’s economy.”

David Saltman, CEO of INCA Renewtech

Hemp projects blue sky

  • The new project will allow Blue Sky to increase production of purified, cold-pressed hemp seed oil for use in cosmetics and food applications, and to increase production of concentrated hemp protein 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 tons of hemp seeds 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 in annual farm revenue for hemp seed.

This announcement powerfully demonstrates the Alberta Government’s commitment to promoting the huge growth potential of the cannabis industry. Together, with INCA, we look to maximize value for the farmer by leveraging the entire hemp crop while producing healthy food ingredients and sustainable industrial products. ”

Andrew Potter, CEO of Blue Sky Hemp Ventures

quick Facts

  • The Canada Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports the agriculture, agri-food and agricultural products sectors in Canada. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-sharing 60 percent at the federal level and 40 percent at the provincial/territory level for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
  • Programs and activities focus on:
    • Growing trade and expanding markets
    • Innovative and sustainable growth of the sector
    • Supporting diversity and an evolving dynamic sector
  • In Alberta, the partnership has committed a federal and regional investment of up to $406 million over five years toward strategic programs and services aligned with national goals and tailored to Alberta’s priorities.
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