The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced funding of up to $200,000 in grants for Missouri-based businesses in the industrial hemp fiber processing industry. The goal of the grants is to improve and expand the infrastructure of the industrial hemp processing industry in the state.
The Missouri General Assembly voted to appropriate $700,000 toward the Missouri Industrial Hemp Fiber Processing Grant. The intention behind the grant is to support the hemp fiber industry, address supply-chain concerns, increase processing capacity, and create additional marketing opportunities.
The reimbursement grant is only available for businesses headquartered in Missouri, and according to KCRU public radio, requires a 25% cash match. The Dept. of Agriculture is accepting applications from October 1 to the 22nd – so if you live in Missouri and this sounds interesting to you, today’s your last day to apply! Applicants will be informed if their grant request was approved or denied on November 8.
Missouri’s efforts to assist companies in the hemp industry are similar to how the state of Wisconsin is helping hemp farmers cut costs on state licensing fees by having the USDA run its hemp program. The state of Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018 and transfers large portions of the profits of medical marijuana sales to state military veteran programs.
If an industrial hemp processing company is awarded the grant, they have until March 1, 2022, to submit a report of expenses eligible for possible reimbursement. According to the grant application, equipment used for processing industrial hemp fiber and the direct installation costs of this equipment is eligible for reimbursement review. Some of these brands might use labels for hemp products, but those are not eligible for reimbursement.
Businesses awarded the grant must submit a progress report on April 1 and submit documentation on December 31, 2022, showing an increase in industrial hemp fiber processing production. The funds from the grant may be recaptured by the Dept. of Agriculture if those production levels are not produced.