Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated Kings Royal Biotech Inc. (KRB), a manufacturer of cannabidiol isolate, for breaking ground on its $30 million-plus facility, a project expected to create 140 full-time jobs in the West Kentucky city of Bardwell.
“Ag-tech businesses are increasingly recognizing the many benefits of manufacturing hemp-related products in Kentucky,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are grateful for the jobs and investment that Kings Royal Biotech brings and for the company’s efforts to build lasting relationships with West Kentucky farmers. We look forward to seeing our state become a global leader in this rapidly growing industry. Congratulations to KRB on today’s announcement and to the Carlisle County community on this exciting new opportunity.”
KRB will build its 75,000-square-foot building on nearly nine acres in Carlisle County. The facility will use state-of-the-art methods to extract, refine and re-crystallize cannabidiol (CBD) from industrial hemp and is believed to be the largest operation of its kind in the nation. With the issuance of an industrial hemp research pilot program processor license by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, KRB plans to start processing hemp in late 2018 and ramp up to full capacity by summer 2019.
“Industrial hemp is the next big thing in Kentucky,” said Keith Taylor, chief operating officer at KRB. “The bourbon industry is synonymous with the state, and it is our goal to reach that level of success, where any time someone thinks of hemp-related products, they think of Kentucky.”
KRB, incorporated in Kentucky in 2017, partnered with a China-based company specializing in industrial hemp-related products to establish the Bardwell operation. KRB licensed its partner’s patented extraction and crystallization process in West Kentucky. CBD isolate and full spectrum oil will then be sold in commercial quantities throughout the US and worldwide. People use CBD isolate for numerous health and wellness purposes.
Taylor noted Kentucky’s ideal conditions for the growth of hemp as a major influence in its decision to locate in the state, and the company has hired J.T. Workman IV, of Carlisle County, as its growing manager. Workman assisted the company to secure an agreement with local farmers to plant and harvest more than 1,000 acres of hemp.
KRB also has partnered with Andrea Schiavi of Lexington-based Schiavi Seeds LLC to provide hemp seeds certified through the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). Schiavi Seeds received recognition in fall 2017 for becoming the first company since the 1930s to produce certified hemp seeds in the commonwealth.
“Kentucky’s nationally-renowned industrial hemp research pilot program continues to grow,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “The number of processors is increasing, creating new market opportunities for our farmers and jobs for Kentuckians across the commonwealth. I’d like to thank Governor Bevin and the Cabinet for Economic Development for continuing to attract new and exciting businesses to Kentucky.”
Sen. Danny Carroll, of Paducah, expressed enthusiasm for the project.
“I’d like to congratulate and welcome Kings Royal Biotech to Carlisle County as it builds a $30 million facility that will create 140 jobs in Senate District 2,” Sen. Carroll said. “As a manufacturer of CBD, Kings Royal Biotech uses state-of-the-art methods that will help the commonwealth lead the nation in this fast-growing industry. I look forward to the completion of this project and the national distribution of its Kentucky products.”
Rep. Steven Rudy, of Paducah, welcomed the company to west Kentucky.
“This facility will be a tremendous asset for the Carlisle County region,” Rep. Rudy said. “Hemp production is a growing industry and the company will provide more than 100 great jobs in Kentucky. We welcome Kings Royal Biotech to the state.”
Carlisle County Judge-Executive Greg Terry said the project shines a light on the community’s ability to support new business.
“I am very proud of the work that the Carlisle County Industrial Development Board has done to show what a great place Carlisle County would be for this new CBD isolate facility,” Judge-Executive Terry said. “I look forward to working with Kings Royal Biotech during this process.”
KRB can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
A detailed community profile for Carlisle County can be viewed at http://bit.ly/CarlisleCo.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.