Indigenous-Owned Company Canndigenous Awarded USDA Grant To Develop Climate-Friendly Hemp

Indigenous-Owned Company Canndigenous Awarded USDA Grant To Develop Climate-Friendly Hemp

Wisconsin-based hemp company Canndigenous, in partnership with Iconoclast Industries and several universities and business partners, received $15 million from the “Industrial Hemp for Fiber and Grain” project by the USDA’s Climate-Smart Commodities program.

The funds were granted for the development of hemp as a climate-smart commodity, and Canndigenous is the only tribal-member-owned partner to receive funding from USDA’s smart commodities program.

In addition, the USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first Partnerships for the Climate-Smart Commodities funding pool.

Hemp: A Climate-Smart Commodity

The $15 million grant project led by Iconoclast Industries will be used “to support the expansion of climate-smart markets by providing open-access data and training on how to monetize climate-smart practices through a digital marketplace pilot,” reported Canndigenous in a press release.

The project will establish an inclusive workforce to engage with and financially support underserved producers as they learn climate-smart practices in Florida, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"The USDA moves the needle in the right direction by investing in climate-smart consumable products and incentivizing businesses like Canndigenous to raise the bar,” said Rob Pero, Canndigenous founder and member of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. “We are committed to bringing the industry forward and making ambitious contributions to decarbon our world.”

As the first independent Native American-owned hemp farm and CBD retailer in Wisconsin, Canndigenous focuses on growing local, organic, CBD and wellness products.

Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association

Pero founded the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association (ICIA), a national trade organization in 2022 to support Indigenous interests in the emerging cannabis industry. The organization promotes the development of an equitable, just, and sustainable indigenous cannabis economy.

Mary Jane Oatman (Nez Perce), COO and executive director of the Indigenous Cannabis Industry Association commended the work of Canndigenous for “elevating the research opportunities for other tribes by participating in the climate-smart data project as a pilot for Indian Country.

“Rob is a tribal innovator. Sometimes it takes an individual tribal member to take that first big step to show Tribal leaders that development in cannabis is safe and legitimate, with a bright outlook for federal research funding.” 

A Broad Alliance

Other partners joining Canndigenous for the USDA-funded “Industrial Hemp for Fiber and Grain” project include the Universities of Florida, Georgia, Stockton and Texas A&M as well as the Florida and Virginia Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Global Hemp Association, M4MM and Stillman College.

Photo By Nicky �🌿🐞🌿� On Pixabay

Posted In: CanndigenousHempIndigenous Cannabis Industry AssociationRob PeroUSDACannabisGovernmentNewsCommoditiesEconomicsMarkets

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