A glass building labeled “Greenhouse Area 17” sits behind the Life Sciences building on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo.
It’s not like the mysterious Area 51 where secret studies may be ongoing, but the more than 50-year-old structure has quickly become the school’s major hub for scientific research of a leafy kind.
“We are growing about seven varieties of hemp. And hemp is, of course, below 0.3 percent THC by dry heat. So all the strains we grow are non-THC cannabis,” said Brian Vanden Heuvel, a researcher and biology professor at CSU-Pueblo as he entered LS room 17.
A plant biologist, Vanden Heuvel came to CSU-Pueblo in 2004.
He and his students are working to develop expertise in growing and breeding hemp. They are also gaining familiarity with extraction of potentially bioactive and therapeutic compounds from hemp.
The program is one of three major projects taken on by CSU-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research and