Oregon State University Receives $10 Million for Hemp Research and Development

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The Global Hemp Innovation Center will partner with Tribal nations to research and promote opportunities in hemp manufacturing.

A March 11, 2024 news release announced that the Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University (OSU) had received a $10 million grant to work alongside thirteen indigenous tribes to promote innovations and economic opportunities from hemp products and materials (1). OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center, started in June 2019 and reportedly the largest center of its kind in the country, is part of the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU (2). It aims to research the potential of hemp to serve industries internationally in areas of food, health, and fiber (2). In 2021, the Global Hemp Innovation Center had received a $10 million US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant to begin identifying economic opportunities of hemp grown in the western US, and with this latest grant, the Global Hemp Center was designation as a Center for Excellence by the USDA (1).

Funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the project “seeks to develop sustainable supply chains based on the needs identified by an intertribal business consortium that link regional hemp production, processing and manufacturing to create hemp products,” (1). It will also generate educational and professional development opportunities in the bio-based manufacturing economy for indigenous students and adults (1).


Interest and planting of hemp initially surged after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, though overproduction and the COVID pandemic contributed to a decrease soon afterward (1,2). In the past few years, hemp research has continued to grow. Earlier this month, the Hemp Research Needs Roadmap was released as a joint effort from the Global Hemp Innovation Center and the USDA to outline four major areas of innovation potential in the industry (3). Other recent research from the Center has included testing the efficacy and safety of spent hemp biomass as feed for dairy cows (4).

“There is still significant interest and potential in industrial uses of hemp,” said Jeffrey Steiner, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center, in the news release (1). “But it’s critical that investment decisions be based on sound science and business planning to build out and scale up economic development opportunities with hemp, particularly to benefit Tribal nations and other American rural communities.”

As provided in the news release, the grant will support four main objectives in the program (1):

  • Support development of a Native American-led intertribal biomanufacturing consortium and establish regional business trading networks.
  • Provide education and engagement opportunities for tribal communities by creating K-22 curriculum and student internships and mentorship opportunities, and presenting hemp economic development opportunities to tribal decision-makers.
  • Determine optimal materials characteristics, configurations of manufacturing equipment and facilities, and needed technology providers to establish sustainable manufacturing pipelines for hemp-based materials and products that meet end-product market specifications.
  • Optimize the quality of materials and biomanufacturing efficiencies through hemp breeding, field production, harvest and handling, and processing systems.

OSU will partner with 13 Tribal nations in the western US, three land grant universities, five other universities and colleges, plus other organizations with hemp manufacturing interests (1).

Steiner also mentioned that hemp-derived materials could potentially replace materials derived from oil or coal and be used in textiles, construction, and other materials (1).


  1. Oregon State Receives $10 Million Grant to Work with 13 Native American Tribes on Hemp Economic Development. Oregon State University. March 11, 2024.
  2. (accessed Mar 15, 2024).
  3. USDA Office of the Chief Scientist, (accessed Mar 15, 2024).
  4. Bioengineer, Spent hemp biomass: A feed use that supports milk production in dairy cows, (accessed Mar 15, 2024).