Mile High Labs CEO Stephen Mueller and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis at the opening of the company's new facility in Broomfield. Jonathan Castner/For BizWest

With new CBD plant open, Mile High Labs wants to set the industry standard

BROOMFIELD  — Mile High Labs Inc. cut the ribbon on its 400,000-square-foot CBD plant in Broomfield Tuesday as it plans a yearslong ramp-up to make pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids the industry standard.

The company believes the plant positions it and the Front Range as the epicenter of the CBD industry around the world, Mile High CEO Stephen Mueller said to a gathering of employees and local officials in the building cafeteria.

“Understanding how much work goes into a building like this whole scale, to me, would be a huge tragedy,” he said. “I’m really proud to take all that work that people have done and transform it into the center of the CBD universe.”

Mile High announced that it would buy the plant, a pharmaceutical plant formerly owned by Sandoz Inc., for about $18.8 million in June. Sandoz, a subsidiary of Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG, began shutting down operations there in early 2018 and laid off about 450 workers over several months.

In an interview after the event with BizWest, Mueller said the plant currently has about 100 employees at the Broomfield plant today making the first batches of CBD products. He’s expecting the company to move its Loveland purification operation to the new plant and bring in additional staff to have about 350 employees in total in Broomfield within the next three to four months.

The plant will build out over the next three to five years. Mueller declined to say how much revenue he thinks the company could be generating in that timeframe, but said the plant could employ more than 1,200 people at its operational peak and produce millions of units of CBD products annually.

The deal paid for itself almost immediately in savings, as it included all of Sandoz’s equipment in the building. Mueller said the gear is worth about $160 million.

The company is also using the gear as part of its efforts to instill standards for the CBD industry, which is rapidly growing but lacks oversight in both its marketing and its quality control. Wendi Young, Mile High’s vice president of quality, said the company is pursuing additional certifications from the International Standards Organization and is setting up a quality control system on par with the pharmaceutical industry.

“We’re going to elevate the compliance of the industry, and we’re going to set the bar high,” she said, later referencing a CBS News report where the company tested product samples for the organization to check its chemical contents.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis also appeared at the event, applauding Mile High for being a cannabis startup that’s trying to establish Colorado as a destination for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs.

“We’re excited about the thought leadership potential,” he said. 

Mueller also said Mile High is creating an in-house incubator for CBD product companies that need lab space or technical knowledge, companies that he believes will become Mile High customers.

In particular, he mentioned a delegation from New Zealand was looking at the plant as a place to make medical-grade CBD for clinical trials in that country.

 

“We have a huge amount of space, equipment, instrumentation and knowledge here, and we think we can help those companies grow,” he said.

 

BROOMFIELD  — Mile High Labs Inc. cut the ribbon on its 400,000-square-foot CBD plant in Broomfield Tuesday as it plans a yearslong ramp-up to make pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids the industry standard.

The company believes the plant positions it and the Front Range as the epicenter of the CBD industry around the world, Mile High CEO Stephen Mueller said to a gathering of employees and local officials in the building cafeteria.

“Understanding how much work goes into a building like this whole scale, to me, would be a huge tragedy,” he said. “I’m really proud to take all that work that people have done and transform it into the center of the CBD universe.”

Mile High announced that it would buy the plant, a pharmaceutical plant