GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Western Colorado is currently known for its Palisade peaches and wine country, but some farmers and cannabidiol (CBD) extractors are trying to make hemp the areas new cash crop.
At the start of 2018 a CBD extraction facility called Speedy Grow Inc. opened in Grand Junction, with a goal of partnering with local farmers who are growing hemp.
"Their only option was to go to Denver, ship their product 4 or 5 hours, and get in line behind marijuana growers and that was very costly," said David Schenk, co-owner of Speedy Grow Inc.
Now with the opening of Speedy Grow Inc., the entire process of turning hemp into a product can remain on the Western Slope.
One local farmer who will utilize the new extraction facility is Wacey Clarke, who owns Colorado Hemp Solutions.
"We were having to go in to the San Luis valley but after meeting Speedy and the group there we've utilized them," said Clarke.
This is the second year in a row Clarke is growing hemp, and once his harvest is ready he'll take it to Speedy Grow Inc., where CBD will be extracted from it.
It will later be sold raw or turned into products like soft gels or tinctures to be used for its health benefits.
This is a partnership Schenk said begins even before the hemp is ready to be harvested, during planting season, by providing farmers with their product Speedy Veg, an organic growth supplement. "We're giving them the resources so that they can grow a higher quality product and get a higher price."
Those with Speedy Grow also said they don't charge farmers for the entire process of the extraction, but instead will do a CBD extraction split.
"Bring your crop in we'll process it no cost to the farmer and we'll all share the revenue on the back end," said Speedy Grow Inc. co-owner Dustin Jensen.
Schenk said "It's a very synergistic relationship we have with these farmers and it's a high energy level because everyone knows we're kind of breaking new ground."
Breaking ground not only physically on Western Slope farms, but in a literal sense as well since the industry is still being developed.
Even being so new to the industry, Schenk said he believes the process of cultivating and extracting hemp could provide an economic boom for the Grand Valley. "We believe this valley can be known for the highest quality CBD anywhere in the nation. That people seek out the flower that's grown here."
This is a hope that is shared by Clarke."We don't have dreams of having 2/3,000 acres of hemp, we do have dreams of making sure that much is being produced by farmers in this area, and then working with smart people to make that noticed in the world to where this part of the world is a major producer and part of the supply chain for cannabinoids worldwide."
More information on Clarke's farm and Colorado Hemp Solutions can be found by clicking the link below.