Alberta cannabis cultivators eligible for agriculture grants

Cannabis producers and processors in Alberta, Canada, might be able to access a suite of cost-sharing programs through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a joint federal-provincial initiative, if they meet eligibility requirements.

Previously, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which administers CAP in the province, had not taken a position as to whether cannabis farmers were able to access the initiative.

“Cannabis production is eligible for Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs in Alberta for which the applicant meets the eligibility criteria,” a spokesperson told Marijuana Business Daily.

“Alberta Agriculture and Forestry developed a cannabis framework to guide its program support to the industry.”

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to eligibility criteria for each program, assessment criteria and funding limitations.

CAP is a 3 billion Canadian dollar ($2.2 billion) initiative by federal and provincial governments supporting agricultural businesses across the country.

Alberta’s CAP funding is worth CA$406 million.

None of Alberta’s 15 programs are specific for the cannabis industry.

Shared-cost funding ranges from a CA$5,000 reimbursement program to efficiently manage on-farm water resources to CA$500,000 to support the application of innovations new to Alberta or to the agriculture sector.

The programs have different deadlines and eligibility requirements. Most are accepting applications currently.

Kieley Beaudry, co-founder of Alberta-based micro-cultivation applicant Parkland Flower, said access to Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding in the province could be especially helpful for small businesses.

“This is a great step in the right direction. I think it shows that the government is forward-looking, that this is a viable industry,” Beaudry told MJBizDaily in a phone interview.

Beaudry is also president of the Alberta Cannabis Micro License Association, which has more than 100 non-paying members, including independent retailers and suppliers.

A number of other provinces – including neighboring British Columbia and Saskatchewan – opened the funding to cannabis producers and processors.

CAP programs in Alberta and the associated eligibility criteria can be viewed here.

Cannabis production is not eligible for the Business Risk Management programs offered through the Agricultural Financial Services Corp.

Businesses are advised to research eligibility criteria for specific programs on the CAP website.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].

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