Local company awarded USDA grant to develop climate-friendly hemp 

Cambridge-based hemp company Canndigenous, in partnership with Iconoclast Industries and several university and business partners, has been awarded a $15 million grant for its “Industrial Hemp for Fiber and Grain” project by the USDA’s Climate-Smart Commodities program to fund the research and development of hemp as a climate-smart commodity. 

The grant 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. The project will also establish an inclusive workforce to engage with and financially support underserved producers as they learn the climate-smart practices in Florida, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Canndigenous is the only tribal-member-owned partner funded under the USDA’s Climate-Smart Commodities program to date. In addition to the “Industrial Hemp for Fiber and Grain” project, the USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding pool.