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Virginia governor says new facility will process hemp and CBD oil

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.Steve Helber/Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced that a company will invest more than $3 million to establish the state’s first large-scale facility to process hemp and to extract CBD oil.

The governor's office said in a statement Thursday that the project will create 22 new jobs and that the company has committed to buying 90 percent of its hemp from growers in Virginia.

Company BRD Extraction, LLC will do business under the name Blue Ribbon Extraction. It will be located in the Town of South Boston in Halifax County, which is outside of Danville and near the North Carolina border.

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The Democratic governor said the company will spend $70 million on payments to Virginia farmers over the next three years. Many of them are current or former tobacco farmers.

The company’s founders and primary investors are Richmond residents Rick Gregory and Sterling Edmunds. They are both natives of Halifax County.

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in hemp and marijuana. Both are cannabis plants, but only marijuana has enough of the compound THC to get users high. The vast majority of CBD products come from hemp, which has less than 0.3 percent THC.

CBD has garnered a devoted following among people who swear by it for everything from stress reduction to better sleep.