After not being used for a decade, a former Pepsi factory is poised to reopen as a cannabis grow.
Members of the cannabis industry have long been forced to turn lemons into lemonade. Now, an abandoned Pepsi that used to produce soft drinks will be making something a bit harder.
Doyen Elements has purchased the facility and is currently retrofitting it to be a cannabis production facility. It is expected to be completed by 2019 and will be able to produce approximately 70,000 pounds of cannabis per year.
Doyen CEO, Geoff Thompson, is looking at finding new uses for some of the equipment left over from the Pepsi days. The facility features an air filtration system that Pepsi used to suck carbon dioxide out of the air. Thompson feels the air filtration system could be used inject C02 into the grow and increase yields by 30 percent.
The production facility is located in Pueblo, Colorado. Like many areas in the United States, Pueblo is struggling economically. At 7.2%, the unemployment rate in Pueblo is higher than the national average.
Economic relief seems to be gaining traction in Pueblo. Since 2014, when the first dispensary opened in Pueblo, the cannabis industry has created 1300 jobs in the area. In 2015, it was estimated that one-third of new construction projects were tied to cannabis.
Other areas have also turned to the cannabis industry to stimulate jobs and tax revenues. Washington state has directed millions of dollars collected through cannabis sales tax toward providing health care services to residents. California is expected to take in $1 billion in marijuana sales taxes annually.
In the near future, it is estimated that about one-third of retail stores will shut down. Perhaps this will lead to other cannabis producers repurposing retail and factory space.