Application Categories & Requirements

Funds will be allocated for projects in the following two broad functional categories: feasibility studies and technical projects - marketing and promotion projects.

Funding for feasibility studies & technical projects may address the market for the product, engineering requirements, economic viability, environmental concerns, legal requirements, management, establishing an agricultural value-added business project, developing new uses for agricultural products and by-products, and other necessary business components. Funds may also be utilized to conduct product analyses and provide for technical assistance to explore more efficient systems for processing agricultural products and by-products.

Marketing & promotion project funds may be provided to conduct marketing, market research, and promotion projects in local, regional, national and/or international markets. Such projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • market research and development,
  • first-time participation in trade shows,
  • translation of company and product brochures,
  • marketing strategy development,
  • product launches and sales promotions.

CDA endeavors to make the best use of available resources and will give preference to applications that demonstrate the ability to maximize its return on investment.

Funds may not be utilized for paying down current debt, general administrative expenses, salaries, or for indirect institutional overhead costs. Similarly, funds may not be utilized for purchasing equipment and construction/building costs.

Eligibility Requirements

For purposes of the program, an eligible “person” shall be defined as (per CRS 2-4-401) any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, limited liability corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity. Applicants must be in the industry to support agriculture/food products that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado. Preference will be given to applicants whose products contain at least 50 percent of ingredients (by weight) originating from Colorado. 

When applications are submitted by individuals or businesses, applicants are strongly encouraged to seek the support/endorsement of the project by a local government (i.e., city, county, etc.), local or regional economic development organization, CSU Extension, University partner, or industry/agricultural association.

No applications will be considered, nor can funding be used, for projects working with Cannabis intended for use other than Industrial Hemp. This includes but is not limited to, any aspect of: production, development, marketing, or feasibilities studies.

Industrial Hemp will be considered as long as the applicant is registered and in compliance with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s current regulations and guidelines. Proof of a valid registration must be submitted with application. All registrations will be verified. Commercial and Research and Development (R&D) will be allowed under the current Colorado Department of Agriculture's guidelines and all projects MUST work within the context of the noted broad functional categories (page 2 of program guidelines).

Industrial hemp intended for commercial use will not be reimbursed for funding unless:

1.    Registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

2.    Can provide proof that a test of the inflorescence yielded a THC concentration of 0.3% or lower with lab verification using a gas chromatograph (GC) or HPLC. 

"Importation of viable industrial hemp seed across State lines and Country boundaries is illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act."

Industrial Hemp means a plant of the genus Cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.

Please visit the website for more information regarding Industrial Hemp.