HIGHLIGHTS, May 21, 2019, County Commissioner meeting

• Seth Urbanowitz, CSU Extension Agronomist, gave an overview of hemp growing and processing in the state. Some of the more interesting pieces of information:

• Colorado imports $70M of hemp

– 90% was in hemp seed; hemp oil, seed cake and solids

– 90% comes from Canada

• Forage from the plant is possibly competitive with soy as a protein source long term; early trials seem positive

• Number of acres in production nationally:

– MT, CO, OR, KY (rank order) all have over 5,000 acres as of 2018, grown now in most states

• Number of acres in production in Colorado:

– 2016: 8,988 acres from 312 people registered to grow

– 2017: 12,024 acres from 386 people registered to grow

– 2018: 30,950 acres from 835 people registered to grow – 244% increase from 2016

• Number of acres in the Tri-River Area:

– Acreage unknown; a few growing 100-300 acres, many growing 10-50 acres

– Number of people registered to grow: Delta 92; Montrose 54; Mesa 102; Ouray 2

• Hemp needs 18-20+ inches of precipitation per season to survive and produce seed

• Flower production for CBD oil looks most lucrative

• Liquid Solvents are ran through the plant material, stripping CBD, etc. from plant material and then evaporated

– Primarily isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, but butane or hexane can be used

– Three chambered process; Solid carbon dioxide (dry ice); second is kept at given temperature and pressure creating liquid-like carbon dioxide which strips CBD, etc. from plant material and then evaporates