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Hemp Processing Business Slated for Lamar

 

Gateway Flare Company on North Main Street

 

The Lamar City Council added an extra item to its September 9th meeting agenda to provide information for a proposed hemp processing business to be located at the former Kmart building at 701 North Main Street in Lamar.

Todd Horning

The council contacted by phone, Hiver Salley of Isolate Kings LLC and Tara Hosick, Prowers Economic Prosperity interim executive director, to discuss the project and its potential impact on the immediate Lamar community. Cheryl Sanchez of PEP attended the meeting, along with Todd and Sarah Horning, owners of Gateway Safety Flare, and new owners of the building which will house his flare manufacturing operation and rent 15,000 square feet to Hiver Salley for his company’s hemp operation.

Hemp Plants

A fact sheet shows that hemp biomass has been produced for Isolate Kings in Springfield, Campo and Walsh with their partnership with generational family farmers since 2016. The company has 1,000 acres both under pivot and dry land production for the 2019 season and plan an additional 5,000 acres for the 2020 season.

“We intend to use the space to set up an operation which will allow the harvested hemp leaves to be dried and then ground into a powder which will be shipped to our processing plants in Denver and in Oregon,” Salley explained to the council, adding he would like to begin operations in October, once a staff has been hired and trained. Councilmembers had some questions regarding how much odor would be generated through this portion of the processing, as it may have a negative impact on surrounding businesses.  Sallee said he plans to purchase a series of carbon-scrubbed filtering fans which will reduce any noxious odors during the four to eight week processing cycle which will run 24/7.

He said phase two, which involves other forms of processing, should begin in November or December and continue into 2020 which will require additional employees, as many as 40 full time workers while 20 to 30 would be employed seasonally and at the start-up. Salley added that his operation helps support communities where he is established through on-going use of lodging, food and dining services with rotating farm labor and staff.  He said there is a need for local employees as that helps reduce his operating costs, especially for housing.  The information sheet stated that the company has developed a product line containing hempseed oil and CBD and with expanded growth, the operation will focus on the industrial side of hemp including the production of paper, biodegradable plastic and construction materials such as hempcrete and insulation materials.

The Hornings, Todd and Sarah have been in the Lamar community for over two years, having developed their original flare manufacturing site on West Poplar to the degree they now need to expand their operations, eventually purchasing the Kmart building which continues to be upgraded for their specific needs. Todd Horning said he had been looking for someone to occupy the vacant portion of the 40,000 square foot facility.  “Our operations will be kept separate and because of their nature, we will probably construct a fire wall to separate us for safety concerns, although the entire structure has been updated for overhead sprinklers.”  He and his wife said they have as many as seven to ten people approach them each week looking for work, so he didn’t believe the hemp operation would be hard pressed to find workers.

Mayor Stagner said he would have Craig Brooks, Lamar’s Chief Building Inspector, visit the site and contact Salley for additional details on his operation.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEmploymentFeaturedTransportationUtilities

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