Russian industrial hemp producer Smart Hemp said it has plans to open a hemp processing factory in Ivanovo, an historic textile region and still one of Russia’s major textile making centers.
General Director Maxim Uvarov said Smart Hemp hopes to open the factory by the end of the year. The company has a goal to expand hemp production to a dozen regions in Russia as it projects rising demand for hemp textiles.
Uvarov said Smart Hemp has reached preliminary deals with buyers from China, and is in talks with Russian buyers about production deals in hemp-cotton blends. The company said it also sees potential in Europe for such textiles.
Global market conditions indicate the potential for a public listing of Smart Hemp shares as soon as 2022, Uvarov said. “As soon as we mark the launch and prepare contracts, we will start thinking of an initial public offering,” Uvarov, who previously worked in the health industry then started growing hemp in 2017, told Reuters.
Ivanovo is the name of both the region and the regional capital city (Pop. 413,068), located east of Moscow about 300 kilometers. The area has a long history as one of Russia’s major textile centers. Peter the Great ordered the first linen mills in Russia built near Ivanovo in 1710. As weaving mills and textile-printing factories multiplied in the region over the next century, the town came to be known as “the Russian Manchester,” after the famed British textile city.
Ivanovo’s textile industry now turns out cotton, worsted, and silk goods and clothing. A number of satellite towns in the area produce cotton and linen, and supporting producers make machinery and dyes for the textile industry. Farming in the region is in mixed crop agriculture, primarily potatoes, root vegetables, and grasses.