Village Farms International Inc. (NASDAQ:VFF) has announced that with the House of Representatives agreeing with the changes made by Senate on the House Bill 1325 it will now become law in Texas pending approval from the governor by June 16, 2019.
Village Farms to convert half of the Permian Basin facility for hemp activities
Following the amendments to the Texas Hemp Legislation, Village Farms has started converting half of its 1.3 million sq ft ultra-modern Permian Basin greenhouse for growing of high CBD hemp and CBD extraction. The legislation will require the company to have hemp cultivation and processing licenses. Village Farms will apply for these requisite licenses once it is permitted to do so under the amended legislation.
The company began converting around 635,000 square feet of cultivation area in the Permian Basin greenhouse for hemp growing with the construction team has already removed the tomato crop. The process of conversion includes all the necessary systems for all year hemp growing, but Village Farms could begin hemp cultivation if licensed to do so.
Production in Permian Basin to commence in Q3 2019
The company expects the Permian Basin facility to be ready for production in Q3 2019 with extraction operations expected to be added later. With the passage of the Farm Bill last year the company began preparing site-specific cultivation and technical systems in readiness for conversion once the Texas hemp bill is passed.
Village Farms CEO Michael DeGiglio said that with the possibility of the Texas hemp bill being passed they already had prepared part of the Permian Basin facility which means the company will be a first mover in the hemp industry in the state. He added that the CBD market is expected to reach $16 billion by 2025 and with the passage of the bill, the company will now aggressively work towards hemp cultivation and extraction in Texas.
The Permian Basin facility is the most technologically advanced in the globe and its bases on Village Farms’ novel Gates technology that uses complex computer systems and software to regulate the greenhouse.