Colorado State University Pueblo officials are gearing up for what is probably the nation’s most diverse cannabis research conference slated for Aug. 3-5.
The Cannabis Research Conference is held on an annual basis and is required by legislation that provides funding for the Institute of Cannabis Research at CSU Pueblo. The conference will be virtual this year as many universities and colleges still have not approved employee travel for conferences.
Chad Kinney, director of the institute, has been at the helm since 2018, taking over two years after the research facility was formed. Kinney has a doctorate degree in applied chemistry from Colorado School of Mines.
Kinney brought his environmental chemistry knowledge to the table at the institute where postdoctoral researcher Ken Olejar is using an instrument developed for environmental chemistry to see if it has potential application in the extraction of cannabinoids.
“We wanted to find out if it would be an efficient tool to the extraction of cannabinoids and that did pan out. We are using a pressurized liquid extraction method with water and ethanol which is a method not typical for the isolation of individual cannabinoids,” Kinney explained.
“The research here involves isolation of CBD and CBG cannabinoids with CBG being a minor cannabinoid that is a precursor to CBD. CBGs are of particular interest to hemp producers.”
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During the extraction process, the research also is focusing on converting acidic cannabinoids to a neutral state instead of being done during a separate process.
“The general understanding is the neutral cannabinoids have greater biological activity. It potentially has applications in the industry if they see value in the process,” Kinney said.
Olejar has been mentoring a student in the lab and will be working with more students going forward, Kinney said.
Olejar will make one of the more than 100 live presentations during the conference. Other topics will range from potential medical benefits of cannabis to a class during which university lawyers weigh in on campus-based cannabis research.
Kinney said the lawyers’ presentation is always well attended so that researchers can keep apprised of licensing changes. To find out more, or sign up for the conference, go to cannabisresearchconference.net.
There is no doubt that cannabis is big business in Colorado. The state is coming off a banner 2020 for marijuana sales and it appears that trend is continuing.
The City of Pueblo’s 3.5% retail marijuana sales tax collections continue to climb this year. The city’s number of retail marijuana stores remains capped at eight.
The city’s largest first-quarter sales tax jump of 2021 came in January when there was a 142% increase over January of 2020.
Pueblo County also is showing an upward trend in its collection of 6% retail marijuana sales tax collected at 31 stores in the county. January also marked the largest first-quarter sales tax jump this year for the county with a 60% increase.
City of Pueblo retail marijuana sales tax figures
Dec. 2019: $72,211; Dec. 2020: $102,211 (41% increase)
Jan. 2020: $49,309; Jan. 2021: $119,118 (142% increase)
Feb. 2020: $73,202; Feb. 2021: $107,493 (46% increase)
March 2020: $80,068; March 2021: $143,424 (79% increase)
April 2020: $65,257; April 2021: $103,954 (59% increase)
Pueblo County retail marijuana sales tax figures
Dec. 2019: $218,023; Dec. 2020: $539,306 (141% increase)
Jan. 2020: $340,826; Jan. 2021: $547,299 (60% increase)
Feb. 2020: $332,515; Feb. 2021: $467,031 (40% increase)
March 2020: $429,153; March 2021: $666,179 (55% increase)
April 2020: $434,309; April 2021: $634,800 (46% increase)
Figures courtesy the City of Pueblo and Pueblo County
Figures do not include marijuana taxes collected by the state and shared with local governments.
Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.