Pennsylvania Awarding Grants to Boost Hemp Sales
Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding has called for proposals from nonprofit marketing and promotion organizations for projects aimed at increasing sales, export or consumer awareness of Pennsylvania hemp products. The department plans to award $200,000 in matching funds to reimburse up to half of project costs, with a minimum grant amount of $1,000.
“Hemp has presented a unique opportunity to grow an industry from the ground up, supplying seemingly limitless sustainable construction materials, fiber and food products,” says Redding. “These grants will feed a new industry that was once a staple of Pennsylvania’s economy and is again presenting opportunities for farm income and jobs as well as new possibilities for climate-friendly, environmentally beneficial products.”
The department will give special consideration to projects that leverage other funding and public-private partnerships. Eligible projects may include regional or national promotion.
Projects must have started on or after July 1, 2022 and must be completed on or before June 30, 2023.
The minimum matching grant is $1,000. Applications will be selected in a competitive process.
Qualified nonprofits may apply for grants through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development online application system. The application period closes Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:00 PM. Full grant guidelines can be found in the Oct. 15 issue of the Pennsylvania BulletinOpens In A New Window.
In 2021, the department awarded more than $157,000 through the program to three projects to increase consumer awareness of hemp products and increase fiber and food hemp markets and opportunities in the state.
These matching grants are one way in which the Wolf Administration has fed growth in the fledgling hemp industry, creating Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block grants through the historic PA Farm Bill when federal funding for hemp was not yet available, and funding key R&D beginning in 2019 through the department’s research budget. Hemp-specific grant investments to date have topped $923,000.
For information about hemp in Pennsylvania, visit the department’s hemp web page and for more on grants and initiatives to grow or start your PA agriculture business visit the department’s PA Farm Bill web page.