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Pennsylvania Grant Program Sets Up $200,000 for Hemp Education, Marketing

Russell Redding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced an award program of $200,000 for organizations that promote hemp.

The department aims to award grant funds to reimburse “half of project costs,” with a minimum grant amount of $1,000. Special consideration will be given to applicants who “leverage other funding and private partnerships.”

“Hemp has presented a unique opportunity to grow an industry from the ground up, supplying seemingly limitless sustainable construction materials, fiber and food products,” Redding said in a press release. “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 applicant must have applied on or after June 1, 2022, and finished by June 30, 2023. However, the window for applications closes on December 2.

This is a slight increase from the department’s grant total of $157,735 in 2021, which was used to fund three different projects to boost hemp product awareness as a useful fiber and food: Don Services for hemp as a building material, Team Pennsylvania (also the host of the Pennsylvania Hemp Summit) spearheads education, and Urban Affairs Coalition All Together Now PA, which promoted hemp education as well.

According to the press release, Pennsylvania’s governor was highly praised. Tom Wolf’s administration for its support and development of the state’s hemp program. At the Pennsylvania Hemp Summit in July, the state agricultural division announced that a $460,000 program was being implemented to support hemp farmers and unique crops with Specialty Crop Block grants. “We are building a new industry, literally from the ground up,” Redding said at the event.

Back in 2019, Wolf also signed the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, which provided “strategic investments” in state agriculture, and noted the inclusion of hemp as an animal feed.

Margent Farms in Europe created tiny houses using corrugated hemp sheets. Two-story homes with surprising spacious interiors were designed to be sustainable and affordable. “The fibres sequester carbon, locking it in and stopping it releasing back into the atmosphere, resulting in a very low-carbon product. The high cellulose content (60–70%) of the plant makes it a very strong and durable material. This sugar-based resin, made completely from agricultural waste, is used as a binding agent for the sheet. Our hemp sheets are a natural alternative to corrugated steel, PVC, bitumen and cement,” the construction company said on its website.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill to remove hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances earlier this summer. Roy Cooper signed a bill to remove hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances. “Agriculture is North Carolina’s largest industry and giving North Carolina farmers certainty that they can continue to participate in this growing market is the right thing to do for rural communities and our economy,” Cooper said in a press release.

In June, a museum exhibit focusing on hemp was opened in Barcelona. It highlighted the many uses of hemp in Japan as a valuable trade crop and income source for Japanese merchants. Called “Cannabis Japonica,” unique clothing samples and literature are on display through February 2023.

Japan has also seen a cannabis revival. While cannabis is strictly regulated, the country’s health officials are proposing that medical cannabis be legalized to align its regulation with other major countries.

Technavio has released a new report that examines the worldwide industrial hemp market. It projects that it could reach $6.47 Billion in value by 2021-2026. According to the report, textiles are the top-selling hemp product. “The industrial hemp market share growth in the textile segment will be significant during the forecast period. Hemp fibers possess significant properties, such as high absorption capacity and good thermal and electrical properties, like low static electricity charge and high heat of sorption,” the report states. “Hence, hemp is used in the manufacture of apparel, fabrics, denim, and fine textiles, thus increasing the demand for hemp in the textile segment. Therefore, owing to these factors, the textile segment of the market in focus is expected to grow during the forecast period.”