Former GM plant tapped for hemp decortication in Texas

A Dallas company that specializes in developing large-scale industrial projects has chosen the Texas town of Wichita Falls for a new hemp decortication facility.

Panda Biotech said Tuesday it has contracted 500,000 square feet for the facility, along with the surrounding 97-acre campus that formerly was a General Motors plant.

The U.S. has few decortication facilities. Panda Biotech claims the plant they’re building will be the largest hemp-fiber decortication facility in the U.S.

Panda Biotech said it plans to install machinery capable of decorticating 20 tons of raw hemp an hour. The company also plans to cottonize the hemp fibers at the decortication facility.

Wichita Falls authorized $2.8 million worth of incentives in July to lure Panda Biotech. The incentive package included:

  • A $2 million, five-year forgivable loan.
  • $350,000 cash if the company fulfills 50 positions.
  • Relocation assistance for employees coming to the area.
  • $150,000 for railroad-line improvements to ease transportation for hemp coming in and out of the plant.