Since the passage of HB 12-1099 in June 2012, Hemp Cleans researchers have been conducting studies into the effectiveness of phytoremediation. A limited-scale experiment involving the cultivation of hemp in mining-waste contaminated soils has yielded promising results. Hemp was shown exhibit rapid growth rates in highly contaminated soil. Analysis of the plant material by X-Ray fluorescence has shown that hemp is effective at removing copper (considered by the EPA to be a toxic metal) from contaminated soil. A literature survey has produced evidence that hemp is also effective at removing contaminants such as arsenic, benzo[a]pyrene, cadmium, chrysene, lead, nickel, and zinc.
Hemp Cleans is currently supporting research into development of cultivars which will be ideally suited to Colorado’s climate. The seed stock developed as a result of this research will be used for the purposes of expanding the phytoremediation pilot project to include evaluations of cultivation in fire-scorched alpine soils and saline agricultural environments.