U.S., Chinese firms partner on hemp processing

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Kings Royal Biotech of San Diego, California (USA) says it will invest $30M in a hemp processing plant in western Kentucky in partnership with an unnamed Chinese partner.

The planned 50,000-sq-ft. facility will process hemp flowers for pharmaceutical products, fiber for clothing and seeds for food, said Keith Taylor of Kings Royal.

The company projects it will employ 100 workers for a planned 1,000-acre hemp growing and processing operation in two counties in Carlisle and Hickman Counties in north-central Kentucky. Farmer J.T. Workman has been contracted for next year’s hemp harvest.

Operations are expected to start next year provided Kings Royal receives a hemp processing permit from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Outdoor gear maker debuts hemp sneakers

Astral Donner Hemp Shoes

Asheville, North Carolina (USA) outdoor gear maker Astral has added sneakers to its line of sustainable fashions. Offered in two styles — Hemp Donner and Hemp Tinker — the shoes are made from 77% hemp with soles and other components from recycled polyester, and retail for $100.

Astral also makes hemp-cotton blend t-shirts and tank tops, as well as a hemp-cover for its AstroPad dog bed, which is made from scraps of industrial foam.

Astral owner Philip Curry started the company in 2002 after selling his first business to American outdoor equipment maker Patagonia.

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