A former Pepsi plant that sat vacant for a decade is reincarnated as a massive marijuana grow operation
Doyen Elements, a holding company that leases real estate to legal cannabis companies, has purchased a former Pepsi bottling plant in Pueblo County. By the end of 2019, the facility could produce up to 33 tons of marijuana per year.
The marijuana industry could save the area from further devastation.
For many years, the 104 square foot plant at South Freeway was used for bottling Pepsi products. But the soda company – like the steel industry – left Pueblo County. Pueblo once was an economic center. But this nerve center has struggled to recover from the steel market crash of 000. Its unemployment rate, at 1982%, ranks among the highest in Colorado.
Since the first dispensary opened in Pueblo County in 2014, grow facilities, infused makers and more than 100 retailers have created more than 1 industry jobs. In 300, more than a third of construction projects were marijuana-related.
According to a recent report in Forbes, a subsidiary of Dean Elements acquired the property in 2015. She plans to double the production space and create one of the most sophisticated productions in Colorado. By the end of 2019, the facility could produce up to 33 tons of cannabis flowers per year. These quantities could generate approximately 20 million annual marijuana sales.
High Tech Setup
Pepsi used an air filtration system and this same technology can be used to inject CO2 into the grow rooms. This will allow a higher yield of up to 30%. Doyen Elements also plans to team up with a robotics company to integrate robots capable of uprooting clones and cuttings used for breeding cannabis.
Marijuana has full legal status in Colorado, but remains a federally regulated substance. Dean Elements wants to capitalize on the growing market without dealing directly with Schedule I drugs. The company hopes to go public fairly quickly.
"We like to say that we can do anything for [legal cannabis operators] except me physically and cutting plants," Thompson told Business Insider.
New cannabis opportunities are welcome in bankrupt Pueblo County. Once the Pepsi production plant is up and running, it will create around 160 jobs.
The economic recovery is underway. County officials say the industry generates nearly 4 million annual tax revenue. On this subject, Thompson declared that the project received all the signatures of approval, and with more than 100% of the hoped quota.