Blue Ribbon Extraction Invests $3 Million In Virginia Hemp Processing Facility
Blue Ribbon Extraction will invest $3.26 million to establish Virginia’s first large-scale industrial hemp processing and cannabidiol (CBD) 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.
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.
This project was made possible by a strong partnership of private-sector leadership and public sector support involving a broad coalition of economic development allies. The company’s founders and primary investors, Richmond residents Rick Gregory and Sterling Edmunds, are both natives of Halifax County and are committed to bringing new jobs and economic opportunity to their home county.
“We look forward to partnering with farmers to establish a local market for a new agricultural crop right here at home in Halifax County,” said Co-Chief Executive Officers, Sterling Edmunds, Jr. and Rick Gregory. “We currently have 1.2 million pounds of hemp under contract with farmers for the 2020 growing season. With the support of our partners in Halifax County and the town of South Boston, Blue Ribbon is off to a great start and, at full capacity, has the ability to process 6 million pounds of hemp annually. Approximately $10 million will be invested in bringing this project to reality for Southern Virginia.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), the town of South Boston, the South Boston IDA, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure this project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is being matched by the Halifax IDA to assist with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission’s Agribusiness Committee also committed $250,000 to the project. Blue Ribbon Extraction qualifies for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program.