Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday afternoon announced that BRD Extraction LLC, doing business as Blue Ribbon Extraction, will invest $3.26 million to establish Virginia’s first large-scale industrial hemp processing and cannabidiol oil extraction facility in the town of South Boston.
The project will create 22 new jobs and the company has committed to sourcing over 90% of hemp purchases from Virginia growers, resulting in more than $70 million in payments to Virginia farmers over the next three years. Using state-of-the-art equipment, the company expects to be able to process up to 5,000 pounds of industrial hemp per day, primarily grown by local farmers, most of whom are current or former tobacco farmers.
“Encouraging the development of new markets for Virginia farmers is one of our top priorities for growing the Commonwealth’s agricultural economy,” said Northam. “I am pleased to see that industrial hemp continues to create opportunity and economic vibrancy in rural Virginia, and I congratulate Halifax County, Blue Ribbon Extraction, and all other partners involved in bringing this important new processing capacity to our Commonwealth.”
“There has been tremendous growth in Virginia’s industrial hemp industry, creating new opportunities for rural communities to thrive,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “By locating this large processing facility in an emerging geographic center of industrial hemp production, Blue Ribbon Extraction will create a local market for the crop, addressing one of the biggest challenges currently facing the industrial hemp industry in Virginia.”