Appalachian Biomass Processing, a Virginia based hemp processing company, has announced the launch of a new project in Wythe County. The company is opening an $894,000 industrial processing firm in the county.
The office of the Governor made the announcement last week. The facility will be the pioneer industrial cannabis fiber processing company in Virginia. This comes after the passing of the Farm Bill 2018, which removed hemp from the list of the Controlled Substances Act. The state of Virginia legalized hemp production in 2017 even before the federal reforms.
Appalachian Biomass Processing will employ a customized stripping machine to convert hemp stalks into bast fiber to be used in the textile industry and hemp hurd used as animal bedding. Having a good number of registered hemp growers in the state, employing the right infrastructure, and having a stable market is requisite to seizing optimum potential.
The new facility is targeting to purchase over 6,000 tons of organically grown hemp in the next three years for processing. The hemp processing facility will receive a $25,000 grant from the state’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund and a similar one from the county. The founder of Appalachian Biomass Processing, Susan Moore, believes that the states and county grants will help her company develop a completely new industry in the state. This new project will create 13 jobs.
According to Governor Ralph Northman (D), the hemp industry is offering vast opportunities that will see new businesses and jobs into the state. The state has over 1,100 registered hemp growers, and the facility will create a stable market for the industrial hemp growers.
The United States Department of Agriculture released draft rules for the hemp industry last week. The agency will begin the review and approval processes for state-approved hemp programs once finalized.