Here’s a little fact that you might not know. Recreational marijuana was not the only thing legalized by the passing of Amendment 64. Another often overlooked marijuana market was also allowed to begin with the amendment: commercial hemp.
Now, the man who planted the country’s first commercial hemp crop in 55+ years in 2013 has proposed what could be the first commercial hemp company in the country, Rocky Mountain Hemp. The now-legal business is taking root in southern Colorado and could create an additional boost in revenue for the region. Since the first hemp grow starting back in November 2013, Colorado has expanded to 159 hemp-specific grow facilities in the state.
A Budding Business
Title puns aside, Rocky Mountain Hemp has the potential to be the original commercial hemp producer in the nation. Run by Baca County hemp farmer Ryan Loflin, RMH will strip and shred hemp stalks into small pieces appropriate for housing insulation. The hemp will be combined with cardboard and newsprint to make up the insulation product. Loflin has partnered with Oklahoma-based manufacturer Western Fibers, a bit of an ironic twist considering that same state has sued Colorado for the legalization of marijuana and hemp.
The news about Loflin’s newest business venture comes exactly one month after another southern Colorado business announced plans to convert an old warehouse building in La Junta to a hemp growing facility. Whole Hemp Co. of Colorado Springs plans to employ 30-40 people at the new grow facility.
Loflin says Rocky Mountain Hemp will employ ‘3-6 people to begin with,’ and will hopefully grow quickly from there.
You can read more about the newest legal hemp businesses in southern and southeastern Colorado here.