BROOMFIELD, Colo. — With the CBD industry expected to soon top a billion dollars, companies in Colorado and nationwide are making huge investments in hemp cultivation and CBD production. Nowhere is that more evident than Mile High Labs recent purchase of a 400,000-square-foot facility in Broomfield.
The company purchased the building from Sandoz Inc., a division of pharmaceutical company Novartis, for $18.75 million.
"Colorado is one of the leading states in promoting and encouraging hemp production, agriculture and innovation, and with our new facility here producing CBD isolate, CBD distillate and other products, we feel like this is really the center of the CBD universe," said Christopher Lackner, vice president of public affairs for Mile High Labs.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is related to marijuana but contains no more than 0.3% THC. The isolate produced at MIle High Labs is sold to other companies that put it in their products, which include tinctures, liquid supplements, and even food products like honey and seltzer.
People who use CBD have claimed it helps with ailments including anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia. But the FDA is currently investigating the possible health benefits of CBD and deciding how to regulate it. Because it's unregulated, it's difficult to know if a CBD product has any contaminants, or if it even has the amount of CBD it claims to have.
"We strongly feel in order for this industry to thrive we need strong regulations that are based in quality, compliance, testing and adherence to protocols," Lackner said.
Mile High Labs is among several companies and agencies that are actively pushing for FDA regulation. Representatives from the company recently traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Colorado's congressional delegation to urge them to push for a speedy process.
"We strongly feel a pathway to regulation in the dietary supplement category is the best path to take," Lackner said.
Mile High Labs is already following Good Manufacturing Practices at its new facility, to ensure high standards of quality, safety and testing. Additionally, by taking the place of a pharmaceutical company, Mile High Labs was able to retain some employees with knowledge of the facility and experience.