ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Economic Development Department announced Wednesday it plans to invest $400,000 in a hemp production and processing business in Las Cruces.
The financial commitment to 420 Valley LLC represents a continuing effort to target sustainable agriculture and other economic sectors that are suitable for growth and can help diversify the economy, the department said in a news release.
420 Valley plans to hire 55 employees over three years.
“Hemp production and sustainable agriculture are essential components of our mission to expand New Mexico’s economy,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
“We must think broader than one industry and one industry alone; we must create opportunity for New Mexico entrepreneurs and residents of all ages who are eager to find fulfilling work and launch sustainable careers,” she said. “And through our Economic Development Department and other key initiatives we will do exactly that.”
Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department added that agriculture and related enterprises have always been part of the economic base in Southern New Mexico.
The targeted company is a CBD products supplier cultivating hemp then extracting and refining the oil into manufactured products such as oil, pens, edibles and topical ointments, according to the release.
The business expects to begin hiring employees in early 2020 who will earn an average of over $33,000 annually. The company’s payroll is expected to be $2 million in three years, according to the release.
420 Valley co-founders Rick Morales and Scott Bannister have been working with farmers in Deming to grow and harvest hemp this year and are consulting with an indoor grow facility in Las Cruces and a manufacturing facility in Socorro.
“The investment by the state will help us become an industry-leader in the blossoming extraction industry as well as create more than 50 jobs in Dona Ana County,” Morales said in a statement.
The $400,000 state investment comes from the Local Economic Development Act. The city of Las Cruces has also pledged $150,000 for the project.
Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima said the new hemp business will help the region become a national leader in hemp manufacturing.
EDD last May pledged up to $2 million in assistance to Rich Global Hemp, which took over a greenhouse business in La Mesilla and plans to hire 180 employees.