VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, second from right, presents a ceremonial check in the amount of $2 million to Russell County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Ernie McFaddin, center, for the Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC project. From left are Kerry McCormick, National Hemp Group COO; Jeff Taylor, Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC CEO; McFaddin; Belcher; and Jean Jordan, VCEDA funds administrator.

HANSONVILLE, VA – MARCH 12, 2020 — A low-interest loan of $2 million from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Russell County Industrial Development Authority to be used in the development of Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC’s processing facility operations and the up to 62 new jobs it will bring with it was awarded recently.

Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC is a new start-up company, which will provide services from hemp cultivation, through extraction, processing and packaging of hemp products. The Clinch River Hemp Company plant will focus on refining hemp for the therapeutic benefits of CBD and other plant-based chemical compounds that can be derived from hemp.

Industrial hemp historically has been used in the manufacture of paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction and fuel. The proteins contained in its seeds may also be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean and may be ground into flour or may be used in the manufacture of therapeutic supplements. It is said to be one of the fastest growing biomasses known.

The new business will be located at Hansonville in the former Freedom Ford car dealership building. Forty-one new full-time jobs and five part-time jobs are anticipated within the first year as the project gets underway.

“The loan funds provided by VCEDA to the Russell County IDA are being used for the purchase of the facility for this project and equipment,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “Within five years, the business is projected to grow and according to the application, job numbers are anticipated at 58 full-time and four part-time by the fifth year.”

Russell County IDA Chairman Ernie McFaddin noted the project is a regional project.

“The Russell County IDA was pleased to be able to work out a revenue sharing agreement between Russell, Buchanan and Tazewell counties which will benefit all three counties on this project,” McFaddin said.

An innovative program offered by Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC will also benefit area farmers. The program will provide hemp clones and seeds at a low upfront cost to farmers in the region, thereby helping the farmers to grow hemp at a reduced cost per acre.

Hemp seedlings will also be grown on-site. A research and development lab will also be a part of the plant facility.

“Clinch River Hemp Company has almost completed the build-out of a state-of-the-art hemp processing facility with the capability to process 10,000 pounds of hemp per day,” said Jeff Taylor, CEO of Clinch River Hemp Company, LLC. “It will be one of the largest processing facilities of its kind in Virginia and in the top three percent in terms of processing capability in the United States.”

It will be capable of processing 3.5 million pounds of hemp per year, which equates to 3,000 to 4,000 acres of hemp, dependent on yield per acre. As the facility is expanded in the future, it is anticipated additional job creating and tax generating endeavors will be added to include indoor grow facilities, greenhouses, drying facilities and more to complement the processing hub.

“This biomass will create estimated gross revenues for Southwest Virginia farmers of $40,000,000 annually,” Taylor said. “Our facility will have the ability to scale and add additional extraction units based on demand.”

The processing plant is anticipated to open later this month. A job fair is planned March 24 at the plant facility from noon to 4 p.m. Various positions are open for hiring and those interested in business or manufacturing posts are encouraged to bring a resume at that time, Taylor said.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vaceda.org  or www.e-Region.org.