WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – After many years of anticipation, Panda Biotech has officially opened its doors in Wichita Falls, marking the launch of the largest industrial hemp processing facility in the United States. This milestone was celebrated with a grand opening event, showcasing the innovative potential and economic promise of the facility.

Industrial hemp was legalized as an agricultural commodity in 2014, putting it on par with crops like cotton and allowing it to be grown nationwide. Now, Wichita Falls hosts a facility that aims to revolutionize the manufacturing sector with eco-friendly alternatives.

Dixie Carter, Panda Biotech president, said the facility’s operation demands a considerable workforce, and the initial hiring phase is just the beginning.

“When we’re at full capacity, it will be 60 to 65 jobs here. But this is just the first phase of our project. So it’s a big undertaking, the first one. So the second one, we hope it comes faster. Plus, the farming jobs, the transportation jobs, the hotel jobs—there’s a lot of ancillary jobs that are also being created,” Carter said.

Despite the excitement, the road to opening the facility was fraught with challenges. The project commenced in the midst of a global pandemic, contending with supply chain shortages and unstable financial markets. Nevertheless, Mayor Short expressed his enthusiasm for the company’s perseverance and its potential impact on the local economy.

“With the plant jobs and the plant growth, and what they have for 500,000 square feet in this facility has never been seen anywhere before. So we’re really excited to have them here in our city,” Mayor Short said.

Panda Biotech’s establishment represents a nine-figure investment in Wichita Falls, promising significant economic growth.

“These are good jobs. I mean, these are most certainly not minimum-wage jobs. These are very good, competitive jobs that can’t do anything but help everybody here in our community. Because a lot of that will stay here locally,” emphasized Mayor Short.

There were many reasons Wichita Falls was chosen as the location for this facility.

“Panda Biotech chose Wichita Falls, we’re thrilled. My family has had a ranch down the road in Seymour for almost 20 years. We feel like we’re home,” said Carter.

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