Kind Roots owners wanting to relocate to Yuma

Kind Roots of Wray is in the process of attempting to locate a cannabis oil manufacturing facility in Yuma.
The facility would be located in the Yuma Industrial Park, operating year-round. It potentially could generate considerable revenue in excise tax for the City of Yuma, as well as create more than 20 jobs.
It is not a dispensary, and no products would stay in Yuma.

Ross King and John Bowman of Kind Roots made a presentation to the Yuma City Council during its regular meeting, last week. The council later unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that will allow one, and only one, marijuana manufacturing facility in the city.
Public comment will be heard prior to the ordinance’s second reading at the July 20 council meeting. (One can read the full text of the ordinance in the “Public Notices” inside this edition.)
All seven council members were in attendance at last week’s meeting — Mayor Ron Swehla, Marc Shay, Dan Baucke, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Tim McClung, Scott Hoch and Daniel Ebersole — held in-person at Yuma City Hall.
King and Bowman are co-founders of Kind Roots, operating an industrial hemp processing facility in Wray in the former Alco building for the past several years. King, who did most of the talking, said the processing operation is Good Manufacturing Practices certified, approved by the Federal Drug Administration and registered with the State of Colorado.
He told the council that they were approached this past April by Colorado Cannibis, which has marijuana grow operations along the Front Range. The company asked about Kind Roots processing oil out of cannabis plants. King said it is the same process as what Kind Roots does with hemp, so the facility is all set up.
“We’re not talking about opening a dispensary,” King stressed. “We’re not talking about selling anything within Yuma County.”
He likened the situation to the Jack Daniels distillery in Kentucky. The county where it is located is “dry” but the county still benefits from the tax revenue.
King and Bowman went through an extensive community-education effort in Wray this past spring, wanting to change the facility from hemp processing to marijuana processing. King said the City of Wray was accommodating throughout the process, but in the end the Wray City Council decided it should be a ballot issue in the November election.
King said last week that it does not fit the timeline for taking advantage of the opportunity.
“We’re asking the City of Yuma to amend its cannabis statute,” to allow the processing of oil in an industrial building in the Yuma Industrial Park.
He explained the the facility would be surrounded by an eight-foot fence, and be equipped with a camera security system. The plants would be transported in secured, state-licensed vehicles to the Yuma facility, where the plants will be processed into oil. The oil will leave Yuma in secure 55-gallon drums, in secured vehicles, to a manufacturing facility in Denver.
He said the oil processing is a clean operation with no smell, and no waste entering the sanitation system. All plants are tagged and tracked by the State of Colorado’s marijuana enforcement division.
“We need to move this opportunity to a city which is willing and open to at least look at this opportunity and see if this is something good for the city or not,” King said.
He stressed that he and Bowman are not advocates of marijuana use, but are advocates of economic opportunity, of creating jobs.
“Every small community in rural Colorado needs tax revenue,” King said.
He told the council the city could realize $1.2 to $1.4 million annually in excise tax revenue.
However, such a tax would have to be approved by the city’s electors, and would only impact this particular business.
King noted that Colorado Cannabis has not signed off yet on hiring Kind Roots for the processing because the company was not convinced Yuma would get on board.
If everything does proceed as planned, King said Kind Roots will sell its building in Wray and move all of its processing equipment to Yuma. He said it would take about 45 days to get set up in Yuma.
Council members and city staffers asked what were the chances Kind Roots stays in Wray even if Yuma passes the ordinance. King and Bowman said they are definitely moving it out of Wray, and moving it 27 miles west to Yuma is much less expensive than further away. They were asked what would happen if Colorado Cannabis ended up dropping out anyway. King said there are other potential sources, adding that he has no choice but to make this happen.
There was some public comment after the presentation. Dave Hoch said he is not in favor of using marijuana, but is in favor of locating the facility in Yuma as it is a clean business, will generate good-paying jobs, and the tax revenue would have a huge impact on the town.
Dave Blach said he would like to know more on how King came to the excise tax revenue figure, but otherwise finds it to be great for economic development. (Blach noted he does not live within the city of Yuma.)
A short time later, the council passed the first reading of the Ordinance. Again, public comment will precede the second reading at the July 20 meeting to be held at City Hall in downtown Yuma.