SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – More jobs and opportunities are coming to Virginia’s Southside.
On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Agriculture and Forestry Secretary, local leaders and facility founders cut the ribbon on a brand-new hemp laboratory in Halifax County.
The new multi-million-dollar facility works to extract CBD oil from hemp plants. It’s Virginia’s first large-scale industrial hemp processing and CBD oil extraction facility, according to the governor.
“Even with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus, we continue to see business choose to locate and expand in the Commonwealth," said Northam.
“It’s not anything that is going to make anybody high or anything like that," explained Golden Piedmont Labs President Steve Mize.
Instead, CBD products have been proven to have substantial health benefits.
While speaking at the ribbon-cutting, Northam used cancer patients, pediatric medicine and epilepsy patients as examples.
“It’s going to do so much to support our industry across the state. To really have this regional approach looking beyond just Halifax County, I think is huge. It’s really going to do so much to support our farmers,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring.
The extraction plant will work directly with farmers who grow hemp to produce CBD oil and other products, sold both domestically and internationally.
The facility will employ about 50 people.
Golden Piedmont has contracts with 80 to 90 farms, which employee three or four farmers on average. This work also provides more material to CBD merchandisers.
“It benefits our farmers. It certainly benefits this production facility and it’s really going to help a lot of people with this CBD oil, which has a lot of good uses especially in healthcare," said Northam.
Full production is slated to begin by the end of the month.
Working with just one shift, the plant is expected to process 5,000 pounds of hemp per day.