The idea to use industrial hemp as a soil-remediation tool was brought to McKinley’s attention by Cannabis advocate Jason Lauve a few years ago. McKinley says Lauve has been instrumental in getting the bill off the ground. Cannabis soil remediation dovetailed perfectly with McKinley’s work with cleaning up the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant.
Though the project is a heavily regulated pilot program with a set, ten-year life span, McKinley hopes it will open doors to future industrial hemp production. “Being from a farming area, we are looking for crops that can make a profit,” he says. “We think hemp doesn’t have to be subsidized like they do with corn and wheat.”