Colorado City Giving Hemp Firm $5M in Incentives

The city of Pueblo, Colorado, is giving an upstart company a package of incentives worth $4.89 million to buy equipment and transform a long-shuttered former Boeing plant into a large CBD and hemp processing facility.

The deal marks the first time a city has backed a hemp company to spur economic development, according to a statement from the company, CBD BioSciences.

The firm claims that the 193,000-square-foot facility will be the largest CBD and hemp processing operation of its kind in the U.S.

Pueblo’s half-cent sales tax will partially fund the incentive package.

The deal puts “Pueblo on the map as the Silicon Valley of hemp,” Sal Pace, Pueblo County commissioner, said in the release.

CBD BioSciences is a joint venture between Denver-based vaporizer company O.penVape and Pittsburgh-based Thar Process, which extracts and processes oils and other materials from plants and also manufactures equipment for the work.

Both companies have an international presence.

O.penVape signed a deal with Jamaica’s Timeless Herbal Care in September to create cannabis-infused products, while Thar has plants in China, Russia, Turkey and Malaysia.

CBD Bio Sciences is expected to employ 163 people by November 2018 at an average salary of $41,590 plus benefits, the statement said.