Saskatchewan cannabis and hemp companies among group of businesses to receive federal funding boost

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More than $11 million in federal funding is en route to businesses in Saskatchewan, in an effort to bolster scale-up and productivity in the province.

Mélanie Joly, the federal minister of economic development and official languages, as well as the minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WEDC), announced the funding for 11 projects earlier this week.

Among the recipients are Blue Sky Hemp Ventures Ltd. and Retail Innovation Labs Inc., which has developed a cannabis retail software program.

  1. The new funding will be used to accelerate further product development and enhancements to build upon Cova's current industry-leading capabilities.


Blue Sky Hemp is headquartered in Alberta, but operates two production facilities in Saskatchewan. The company received $749,115 for a facility upgrade to scale up hemp oil pressing and CBD oil refining.

Blue Sky operates with a ‘whole plant’ and zero-waste philosophy, where every part of the hemp plant is used. Beyond CBD extraction, the company also provides grains for food products and uses the stalk for a variety of industrial products.

Regina-based Retail Innovation Labs, the parent company for Cova Software, received $531,125 to expand the functionality and markets for its cannabis retail point-of-sale (POS) system.

Compliant in both Canada and U.S. jurisdictions where cannabis is legal, and used in more than 1,000 stores, Cova Software bills itself as “the fastest-growing cannabis POS in North America.”

Other recipients for the funding include Heads Up Plant Protectants, which received $560,000 to establish a processing line for novel biological seed treatment, and Brandt Industries Canada Ltd., which manufactures farm machinery and equipment.

Brandt received the largest amount of funding, nearly $4.3 million, to purchase, install and commission state-of-the-art equipment for automated laser metal cutting, material handling and metal forming.

The funding was allocated through WEDC’s Business Scale-up and Productivity program.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadian businesses have been working hard throughout the pandemic to maintain their base and continue to employ Canadian workers during a crisis,” Joly said in a statement.

“This is why we will continue to make strategic investments to support communities and businesses in all regions of the country. Our message to business owners and workers is clear: We will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together,” she added.

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