Friday November 6, 2015 0 comments
PUEBLO -- The City of Pueblo is granting $7.89 million in capital incentives to CBD BioSciences, a newly-formed hemp processing company, to create jobs and revitalize its economy.
The deal marks the first time anywhere that a city has backed a hemp company to spur economic development and establishes Pueblo as a primary hub in the CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp production industry.
The grant represents a joint venture between O.penVAPE and Thar Process, with CBD BioSciences managing operations in Pueblo.
“We all know terms like Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle,” said Sal Pace, Pueblo County commissioner. “What this announcement does is put Pueblo on the map as the Silicon Valley of hemp.”
CBD BioScience will receive about $3 million from the city of Pueblo to renovate a 193,000-square-foot former Boeing rocket plant at Pueblo Airport Industrial Park.
Vacant since 2004, the plant will be developed as the largest CBD and hemp processing facility in the U.S.
The project is Pueblo’s largest job creation initiative since 2008 and is projected to employ 163 workers by November 2018 at an average salary of $41,590 plus benefits.
CBD BioSciences will receive another $4.89 million to buy equipment and re-tool the plant, with the city’s half-cent sales tax partially funding the incentive package.
CBD BioSciences is a recently launched joint venture between O.penVAPE and Thar Process, market leaders in the hemp oil extraction industry.
O.penVAPE is the leading global brand in medical and consumer cannabis oil products and Thar Process is the leader in the chemistry and technology in essential oil extraction from a wide variety of crops.
CBD BioSciences said it is contracting with Colorado hemp farmers and in discussions with hemp product companies.
“The United States is the largest global market for foreign hemp sources primarily from China. Let’s change that,” said Barbara Vidmar, chair of the Pueblo Economic Development Corp. (PEDCO).
Hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin to marijuana, has a wide variety of uses including industrial textiles like ropes and carpets, consumer textiles, paper, building materials and foods, including cooking oils.
The relationship between CBD and Pueblo will also extend into education, with CBD working with area educational institutions to create an industrial hemp technology ecosystem.
It will include a Global Hemp Center for Innovation to promote scientific research and educational conferences, CBD said.
“We will produce, formulate and develop new products that can be introduced into the market,” said Jose Martinez, CBD BioSciences CEO. “We will work with genetics to optimize crops. When we are looking at hemp, we are looking at the whole plant from hemp oil, fiber to any other byproduct that can be made from this marvelous plant.
“We are both proud and humbled by the community of Pueblo’s investment. It is clear that Pueblo will become the world capital of hemp cultivation, and we are on the threshold of revitalizing hemp production as a great American industry once again.”