Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Company looks to have 6-10 local hires, with additional farm labor contract jobs

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - On Wednesday, Port commissioners reviewed proposed leases with Oregon Fusion Farms and NEXT Renewable Fuels. The proposed Oregon Fusion Farms facility would operate out of an existing building in the Port of Columbia County-owned property at Milton Creek Industrial Park.The Port of Columbia County Commission is considering a proposed lease for Oregon Fusion Farms at the Milton Creek Industrial Park.

At the facility, workers would dry and repack hemp for transport to another Oregon Fusion warehouse in Sandy, where the product would be further processed and then shipped throughout the country, co-founder Adam Kurtz explained at the Aug. 7 port commission meeting.

Under the two-year lease, Oregon Fusion Farms will pay $5,886 per month for use of the existing 14,000-square-foot building on Milton Way.

The company currently has 10 full-time employees split between its 40-acre Sauvie Island farm, Boring greenhouse, and Sandy warehouse, Kurtz explained. During peak harvest time, Kurtz anticipates having 20 to 30 employees processing the hemp.

"We look to have about 6-10 full-time local hires, with the additional 20+ coming in from farm labor contractors. Our current crew will be busy at other locations, so this facility would be a business expansion," Kurtz wrote in an email.

As the company is increasing processing capacity, it's also growing its hemp supply.

Kurtz said he aims to have 500 to 1,000 acres of hemp come to the St. Helens plant for processing.

According to Kurtz, the company is paying roughly $4 million this year to farmers growing for them.

"This part of the county is kind of under-utilized in hemp production and so, I think it would be a really good fit for this area and create a good job force," Kurtz said at the port meeting.

Kurtz added in an email that he is looking to expand growing operations in Columbia County.

Hemp is in the same plant family as marijuana, but contains minimal concentrations of THC, which is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana.

Hemp does contain a cannabinoid called CBD, or cannabidiol, which is an increasingly popular ingredient in both ingestible and topical CBD products to treat anxiety, pain, insomnia and

more.

The Port Commission will revisit the lease at its Wednesday, Aug. 8, meeting.


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