WYTHEVILLE, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s first commercial industrial hemp fiber processing facility will locate in Wythe County.
Vitality Farms, LLC, operating as Appalachian Biomass Processing, will invest $894,000, create 13 new jobs and plans to purchase more than 6,000 tons of Virginia-grown industrial hemp over the next three years, at a value of more than $1 million.
In March, Northam signed legislation that was unanimously passed by the General Assembly to legalize the commercial growing and processing of industrial hemp by conforming Virginia law to the 2018 Farm Bill. This is the first economic development announcement for Virginia’s industrial hemp industry.
“I am committed to pursuing every path that will attract economic prosperity to our rural communities, and hemp production opens up a wealth of opportunity to bring new jobs and new business to Virginia,” Northam said.
“We are focused on developing a thriving and sustainable hemp industry in our commonwealth and by establishing Virginia’s first modern commercial hemp processor, Appalachian Biomass Processing will play a key role in helping to create a highly-anticipated market for our farmers and industrial hemp growers.”
“Industrial hemp holds the potential to be an important crop for our farmers, especially those in the southern and southwestern regions of Virginia,” said Bettina Ring, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry.
“Having the infrastructure to process industrial hemp and strong markets in which to sell it are critical to seizing its potential. With more than 1,100 registered industrial hemp growers in Virginia, I am pleased to see the local market for industrial hemp fiber begin to grow.”