A £30 million plant to process hemp into environmentally-friendly products for the energy and construction industries could be built in central England.
Unyte Hemp wants to build the facility in the village of Theddingworth, in south Leicestershire, which could create 30 jobs.
The company, based at the Harborough Innovation Centre, in nearby Market Harborough, has been building up a business model to turn hemp into everything from insulation to foods, paper, textiles and concrete-type building materials.
It is understood the facility would be the biggest site of its kind in the UK.
The operation could process up to 25 tonnes of the plants a day.
Hemp is a member of the cannabis plant family but does not contain the psychoactive element that gets people high.
It follows a successful research project last year, when the crop was grown in fields near the village, after a cultivation licence from the Home Office was secured.
Chief executive Jamie Bartley said they are hoping to work with other local farmers to grow and harvest the hemp.
He told HfM: “We have got 1,700 acres licensed ourselves at the moment but we are looking to work with the local agricultural community.