HALIFAX Co., Va. - Virginia's first large-scale hemp processing plant is set to open in the middle part of the state this summer.
It will breathe life into a struggling farm population, according to Gov. Ralph Northam. The processing plant will use hemp grown in Virginia to make CBD oil, which is used in everything from skin creams to grocery goods.
News 3 anchor Beverly Kidd talked to Rick Gregory, one of the facility's owners, about the impact of the new business.
When asked how important the hemp industry is to this part of the Commonwealth, Gregory says, "That part of Virginia is searching for another cash crop to replace tobacco, which is slowly dwindling away until there’s nothing. So, for that region to save the family farm, it's totally necessary.”
He goes on to say that 90% of the hemp processed at this plant will be grown in Virginia.
“We’re going to buy this year about $30 million worth of hemp; that $30 million just on buying the raw product from this region. That’s 100 farmers, and we hope to have many more next year," Gregory explained.
The processing plant, which is located in Halifax County, is set to open in August and will employ 22 workers.
The governor estimates that in three years, the new plant will pump $70 million back in to the Virginia economy.