GREAT FALLS – The Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustment passed the special-use permit application Thursday morning for a hemp-processing facility located in Sun River.
Paul Leach of Venture Property and Leasing, LLC applied for a Value-Added Agricultural Commodity Processing Facility on his existing property.
At the hemp-processing facility, industrial hemp will be turned into a CBD isolate, which will then be shipped out and made into products.
Paul Leach said, “The end product will be an oil, but we’re just going to make the CBD isolate. So, it’ll literally be a powder and then we’ll send it out and then a manufacturer will make the finished product.”
He added, “There’s going to be jobs created and also be able to use products from local farms.”
During the public hearing meeting on Thursday, Jolene Schalper with the Great Falls Development Authority gave public comment in favor of this project.
Schalper said, “We are pretty excited when we see the opportunities for value added agriculture. You have the farmers win because they are able to increase their crop rotation, build their soil health. You have a win for the builders that are wielding and putting together the equipment and machinery, a win for local businesses that they are buying supplies and materials from. You have a win for the tax base of the county, increasing the current value of the property and you have a win for the workers, six in this case, that are employed.”
Leach also said there are a lot of health benefits when it comes to CBD isolates, including helping children with seizures or people with anxiety.
“When people initially hear hemp they automatically think marijuana and I was the same way but when you study industrial hemp, does not have any of the THC in it. So, it doesn’t have any of the psycho-activity that you would have with the THC,” Leach said.
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Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News