WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia is getting its first industrial hemp fiber processing facility.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that Appalachian Biomass Processing plans to spend nearly $900,000 and create 13 jobs on the project in Wythe County.
Once grown by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the crop was later banned because of its association with marijuana.
Recent federal and state legislation has allowed farmers to start growing it again. Hemp has hundreds of uses, including rope, clothing, foods, creams, soap and lotions.
Northam said he approved a $25,000 grant to help the project. The company plans to buy more than 6,000 tons of Virginia-grown industrial hemp in the next three years.