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Texas will soon be home to America's largest hemp processing plant


Shallowater, Texas. Wikimedia Commons

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and most recently it was a Dallas hemp company making an effort to prove the saying true.


Panda Biotech, a hemp processor, recently announced it would open America’s largest cannabis processing plant. Its capacity and size is also on track to compete with global analogues for the title of largest ever.


The company’s “Panda High Plains Hemp Gin” is set for construction in Lubbock, Texas, according to Business Wire. [1]


The mega-facility was announced Dec. 10 after Panda Biotech also buy a 255,000 square-foot processing plant in Shallowater, Texas. [1]


The main concern of Panda Biotech is processing industrial hemp for use in textiles and other industries, Business Wire reports.


Industrial hemp farming became legal at the federal level in December 2018 and June of 2019 saw the passage of state-level legalization in Texas. [1]


Not all states have moved as unanimously or as quickly as the Texas state legislature did, however, and in many parts of the country uncertainty and confusion have taken a toll on well-meaning and industrious cannabis entrepreneurs.


Industrial hemp is not marijuana, though both are cannabis plants, and hemp doesn’t get its users high. It can also be used to create CBD products, which have ascended to popularity lately as new customers try them for their anxiety, chronic pain and other problems.


CBD reaches populations who want the benefits of marijuana without the high, and many who would never try marijuana feel more comfortable with legal CBD oil.


Decortication, as the process is called, separates out both hemp fibers for textiles and cellulose, which has a number of its own uses. Panda Biotech claims the facility will process 130,000 tons of industrial hemp annually. [1]


Cellulose from the hemp plant can be made into composites used in automotive parts, varnishes, paints and plastics. These all have the benefit of being more sustainable than counterparts not made from a renewable resource. [1]


According to local NBC affiliate KCBD 11, Shallowater Mayor Royking Potter said the following about the new facility:


“The City of Shallowater is excited to promote the cutting edge industrial hemp processing facility Panda Biotech is bringing to our community. The ‘Panda High Plains Hemp Gin’ will not only generate new revenue with minimal effects on infrastructure, but it will also create new jobs in our community. This technology will also greatly benefit the agricultural industry and the producers in the West Texas region.” [2]


Sources

[1] https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191210005183/en/Panda-Biotech-Plans-Largest-Industrial-Hemp-Processing

[2] https://www.kcbd.com/2019/12/10/lubbock-county-newest-location-largest-industrial-hemp-processing-facility-united-states/

[3] https://www.ktre.com/2019/12/12/largest-industrial-hemp-processing-facility-us-be-built-shallowater/

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