PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - On Tuesday morning, Doyen Elements officially broke ground on a 234,000-square-foot cannabis grow facility in Pueblo.
It'll be located at 1900 Freeway Drive in Pueblo, which is the former Pepsi bottling facility.
"We've taken the facility and we are retrofitting it into a 234,000-square-foot grow facility that will be developed into three separate phases," said Geoff Thompson with Doyen Elements. "Phase one will take 9 to 11 months, and then the next two phases through an 18 to 24 month period of time."
Once construction is complete the entire facility will run 24/7. It'll have the capacity to produce between 60,000 and 70,000 pounds of cannabis product per year through the operators that are coming into it.
"It will create over 100 jobs in construction alone, as well as jobs for subcontractors and contractors coming through. Once it is operational, this facility will produce 180 jobs full time," Thompson said.
Pueblo City Councilman Bob Schilling was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony and says the construction aspect of it will add a lot of money to the half cent sales tax money.
"It's also going to create with construction $60,000 in half-cent sales tax money that is going straight into economic development. Anybody that has a job is proud to have a job. Any job is honorable and they are bringing honorable work to town and increasing our economy," Schilling said.
"We've had close to $200 million of outside investment coming to Pueblo. For the most part, it's been facilities like this that have been vacant and these investment dollars have really revitalized construction. Contractors, real estate also created a ton of jobs after the fact as well," said Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace.
Pace says a vast majority of the area where there are marijuana cultivations in Pueblo were vacant or run-down facilities.
Pace says a facility like this is not only creating construction jobs, it's taken a formerly run-down vacant facility and making it productive again.
"It's putting this facility and similar facilities on the tax roles and creating jobs in perpetuity," Pace said.
Doyen Elements says construction on the project should be complete in a couple of years.