Planned Kentucky hemp plant falls through, harpooning 100 potential jobs

A hemp processing plant promised for rural Kentucky isn’t coming after all, as the Chinese hemp company and California-based CBD business behind the project say they have run out of money.

The planned 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility from HMI Group of Beijing and Kings Royal Biotech of Capistrano Beach, California, was expected to employ more than 100 people on nine acres in Bardwell, near the Mississippi River and just east of Missouri.

Local officials told Paducah TV station WPSD that the plant owners could not come up with the money.

Kings Royal officials were joined by local dignitaries in March for a splashy groundbreaking, where a former Kentucky governor lauded the extraction facility as a “momentous occasion” for the rural region.

The company said it had contracted with Kentucky farmers to raise 2,300 acres of hemp for CBD production this year.

There was no immediate word whether those farmers would be paid. Carlisle County official Greg Terry told WPSD he hopes another facility can be built at the site.

“You know, we were looking for jobs,” he said. “That’s what our community is looking for.”

Kings Royal did not return calls from the television station about the abandoned project.