- Wichita Falls has approved a $2.8 million incentive package in an attempt to persuade Panda Biotech to operate in their town.
- Panda Biotech is currently trying to decide on a location to start up a new hemp decortication facility.
- Panda Biotech is still considering two other locations along with Wichita Falls, with an expected decision coming sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Wichita Falls, a town in northern Texas, is contemplating a brand new hemp decortication facility and has authorized incentives worth $2.8 million in an attempt to convince Panda Biotech to operate in their town. Officials from Wichita Falls claim the potential facility could draw in around $90 million in investment from Panda Biotech and could also create an additional 50 jobs.
A decortication facility is where harvested hemp is sent to have the tough woody interior separated from the exterior of the stalk.
The incentive package was approved Tuesday, and includes:
- Assistance with relocation for employees moving to the area
- $2 million in the form of a forgivable loan paid out over 5 years
- $150,000 toward transportation improvement for hemp leaving and arriving at the plant
- $350,000 bonus cash if the company provides and fills 50 positions
If Panda Biotech were to decide to settle their new facility in Wichita Falls, the first hemp processing machine would be up-and-running in 2021, with a second machine in commission by 2022. The planned machinery is capable of decorticating up to 10 tons of hemp an hour.
According to Dixie Carter, Executive Vice President of Panda Biotech, the town of Wichita Falls has been welcoming and they are excited about the potential move there. Panda Biotech is said to also be considering two other locations in Texas for its decortication facility, with an expected decision coming in the next couple of weeks.
Panda Biotech was said to be targeting an area in the high-plains region, mainly due to the irrigation and success of cotton production there. However, due to Wichita Falls’ support and contribution to the state’s hemp industry, they are a top contender for Panda Biotech.
Wichita Falls is located roughly 150 miles northwest of Dallas.