Amy Alonzo, Mason Valley News
Published 10:16 a.m. PT Sept. 13, 2019
An industrial hemp processing facility could open in Yerington, pending city council approval. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images file)
An industrial hemp processing plant could be coming to Yerington.
The Yerington Planning Commission unanimously approved a special use permit for ExtracTech to open an industrial hemp processing plant at 103 McLeod St., near Peri & Son’s Farms. The matter is now set to go before Yerington City Council on Sept. 23.
The applicant, David Neisingh, purchased a defunct, 40,000-square-foot milk plant in an industrial zone that has been empty for about a decade, according to Yerington Public Works Director Jay Flakus.
Industrial hemp is a high-fiber product low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. One acre of hemp can yield 700 pounds of grain, which can be turned into 22 gallons of oil and 530 pounds of meal.
With council’s approval, Neisingh said he hopes to be up and running in October, and that at full operation up to 60 jobs will be created. The plant could process 30 tons of raw product per day by the end of year and 60 tons per day by end of first quarter.
Raw hemp is run through a multi-step process to convert it into useable product, according to Tom Ortiz, owner of Sierra General, a Reno-based development company involved in helping open the Yerington facility.
The raw material is run through a dewatering press, a wine press and a filtration system. Calcium carbonate is added to water to wash the hemp flower, which turns the cannabidiol (CBD) into a salt form that is water soluble. The oil is then separated by water, resulting in a zero-THC product.
Neisingh said he will focus on processing product grown within Lyon County if supply can keep up with his needs.
“Our preference is inside Lyon County, especially Yerington and Smith Valley. We’ll be processing this year some local hemp, but most everyone is just doing smaller amounts,” he said. “I think next year there will be several thousand acres which we’ll process. Currently, product is coming to us to process from Colorado, California and Nevada.”
Neisingh said future plans could involve “another building next to it for processing hemp foods.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/local/mason-valley/2019/09/13/hemp-processing-plant-could-open-yerington-pending-council-approval/2312330001/