On Tuesday, April 21, Whole Hemp Company, announced that it is going to expand its operation to La Junta, Colorado, where it will be converting an empty building into a grow Center and processing/ production facility.
"This building has been empty for 12 years and having Whole Hemp Company repurpose it is a great step towards revitalizing the community," said Mayor Lynn Horner.
Otero County Commissioner Jim Baldwin added, "We are looking forward to having the Whole Hemp Company in Otero County. They will be brining jobs, using our farm land, and
potentially bringing other businesses." After the announcement, Kashif Shan, CEO of Whole Hemp Company, said "Whole Hemp Company is really excited to be in La Junta and have been overwhelmed by the support that the local community has already given."
The Whole Hemp Company plans to hire 30 to 40 people within the first couple of weeks with aspirations to hire 100 to 200 employees total over the next 12 to 24 months.
Jobs will primarily be focused in the grow operations. Hemp is regulated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and should not be confused with marijuana.
Both plants share the genus Cannabis Sativa but hemp does not have the same intoxicating psychoactive properties as marijuana.
In fact, hemp has long been used for paper, rope, and oils. The Whole Hemp Company will be extracting the Cannabidiol (CBD) oil from the plants that it will then sell directly to supplement and nutraceutical companies.
"As an economic developer, I am always looking for ways to improve the multiplier (number of times money circulates in the economy) and if we follow the value chain, the hemp industry has the potential to greatly increase the economic outlook for the Arkansas Valley. Not only is La Junta and the surrounding communities receiving direct jobs from Whole Hemp Company, farmers are going to gain revenue from outdoor grow operations.
Additional companies will follow Whole Hemp Company to extract the oils and refine the byproducts into other raw materials. It is possible we will see additional manufacturers locate here in La Junta to be closer to their raw material sources. And then there are the indirect jobs that will come from all of these extra people having paychecks", explained Ryan Stevens, Director of La Junta Economic Development.