OSU's Global Hemp Center Receives $10M Grant for Tribal Economic Development

OSU’s Global Hemp Center Receives $10M Grant for Tribal Economic Development

Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center has been awarded a substantial $10 million grant to embark on a collaborative endeavor with 13 Native American tribes aimed at fostering hemp economic development. This initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), seeks to establish sustainable supply chains and promote the creation of hemp-based products.

The project endeavors to address the needs identified by an intertribal business consortium, with a focus on linking regional hemp production, processing, and manufacturing. By leveraging the expertise of the participating tribes, the goal is to develop robust economic opportunities in hemp that benefit Tribal nations and other rural communities across the United States.

Jeffrey Steiner, Director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center, emphasized the enduring potential of industrial hemp despite fluctuations in production levels. Steiner noted, “There is still significant interest and potential in industrial uses of hemp.” He highlighted the importance of informed decision-making rooted in science and business planning to maximize the economic benefits of hemp development.

The project’s objectives, as outlined in the proposal submitted to NIFA, include providing essential information to tribal leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to assess the feasibility of investing in a hemp-based bioeconomy. By focusing on various supply chain components, from cultivation to processing and manufacturing, the initiative aims to enhance efficiency and sustainability throughout the hemp production cycle.

The partnership involves 13 tribes situated within Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and California, along with renowned academic institutions such as the University of California Davis, University of Nevada Reno, and Washington State University. Additionally, U.S. land grant universities, including Stone Child College and the College of the Redwoods, are part of the collaboration. The project also enjoys the support of organizations such as the USDA Agricultural Research Service, 7 Generations LLC, the Indigenous Habitat Institute, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, and various hemp and bio-based product manufacturers and businesses.

With this significant grant and the collective efforts of the participating entities, the project holds promise for advancing hemp economic development in Tribal communities and contributing to the growth of the hemp industry nationwide.

Subscribe to NECANN today for the latest cannabis news.