TABOR CITYCarolina Botanicals, an industrial hemp processor, is investing $3.46 million in its new facility in Tabor City, North Carolina.

The uptick: 30 new jobs for Columbus County, located about 141 miles south of Raleigh.

Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position but the average annual wage will be $35,496. The average annual wage in Columbus County is $33,817.

“Today’s announcement is the latest example of the growing market for hemp-related products,” Secretary Anthony Copeland said in a release. “We know companies like Carolina Botanicals will find success here with our strong agricultural footprint, solid economy and available workforce.”

Newly enacted federal programs and state spending are providing more support for hemp production in North Carolina’s agri-business sector.

In 2017, North Carolina began operating a hemp pilot research program that allowed farmers to receive a license to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. Opportunities were further broadened last December through the passage of the federal 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (or 2018 Farm Bill), which officially made hemp a legal agricultural commodity. The law allows hemp cultivation not just for research and development, but also for commercial sale and cross-state transport.

“North Carolina is the third largest state for farming, and hemp has become a popular crop since the state’s pilot program began,” added Copeland. “We’re hopeful that Carolina Botanicals is one of the many new companies being created to produce hemp products that will realize our state is the perfect fit for their business.”

Carolina Botanicals is a commercial processor of industrial hemp biomass. The raw product will be used to produce distillate and other products, including winterized oil, CBD distillate and eventually CBD tincture.

Carolina Botanicals said it hopes to source its hemp from farmers in North and South Carolina. All products it makes will be tested by third-party testers to confirm quality of hemp and CBD ingredients, it added

“It is heartening to know that our new business, while producing a product with all the health benefits of CBD, will also be providing needed economic stimulus to the downtown area of Tabor City,” Earl Singleton, Jr. President of Carolina Botanicals, said in a statement. “We look forward to becoming a part of the Tabor City and Columbus County business communities.”

A $100,000 performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Carolina Botanicals’ new operation in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs.

Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.