Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated AgTech Scientific recently on the grand opening of its 2-million-square-foot indoor hemp cultivation facility and ag processing center in Paris, part of an original $5 million investment, which has now been surpassed many times over, creating 271 jobs.
“Today’s opening of AgTech Scientific’s world-class facility is evidence of Kentucky’s national leadership in the budding hemp industry,” Gov. Bevin said. “The synergy between the company, the commonwealth and the University of Kentucky exemplifies how innovation combined with collaboration results in transformative developments within our communities. We are grateful to AgTech for its investment and congratulate the company on this achievement.”
The company hosted 300-plus community members, farmers, businesses leaders and government officials at the site of its high-tech greenhouse and ag processing center in Paris. AgTech currently employs over 100 full-time staff at the facility, exceeding 300 employees during peak season, and plans to reach the first phase of completion and implementation by early 2020, adding 271 additional jobs to current infrastructure over the following years.
“These are exciting times for everyone at AgTech Scientific. I believe we have exceeded everyone’s expectations in Kentucky” said Micahel J. French, AgTech Scientific president. “We are supported by community leaders, top level researchers, financial institutions and most importantly by our farmers. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to build our business than the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
In addition to AgTech’s greenhouse, the company is also constructing a 50,000-square-foot extraction and manufacturing center less than 10 miles away, expected for completion by late 2019.
AgTech holds both a Processor/Handler License and a Grower License from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture hemp program and is partnering with Kentucky farmers for largescale hemp production. The company will extract cannabidiol (CBD) from the locally grown hemp.
In partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, AgTech is researching potential health benefits of hemp-based additives for animal food. AgTech plans to eventually begin manufacturing pet and equine foods, among other products, contingent on changes to regulations.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January 2018 preliminarily approved an eight-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $2.4 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $5 million and annual targets of:
• Creation and maintenance of 271 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across eight years, and
• Paying an average hourly wage of $16 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.