Business & economy

Hemp venture set for Ontario

Hemp is a hybrid cousin to marijuana but with trace amounts (less than 0.3 percent) of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high. (Photo contributed by Jim Hutchens)

ONTARIO – Jim Hutchens is betting $2 million that growing and processing hemp has a strong future in Malheur County.

The former military pilot is growing hemp and now plans to open an extraction factory at what was once the Ontario Golf Course.

The goal at Treasure Valley Extractions: extract a natural organic oil containing the chemical known as cannabidiol, or CBD oil.

The oil, which exists in both hemp and marijuana, is used as an over-the-counter medicine for treating everything from epilepsy to arthritic pain, and its surging popularity is the reason Hutchens and other residents are getting into hemp . . .