Colorado-based CBD company Folium Biosciences is accused of dumping hemp waste from their biomass extraction process directly into the ground, according to court documents outlined by Cannabis Law Report. The claims come in a lawsuit brought by Folium’s landlord, McKeefe Ventures, which alleges environmental mismanagement, regulation violations, property theft, and unjust enrichment for shady deals related to building repairs and rent.
According to the documents detailed in the report, in 2019 a McKeefe manager saw a Folium employee pick up a handful of hemp byproduct waste from a pile in the yard and set it on fire because it still contained ethanol from the extraction process. Folium’s counsel had previously told the landlord that they did not use a chemically hazardous product in their extraction process.
The hemp waste allegedly took up about 60,000 square feet of land surrounding Folium’s building that was not leased by the firm.
The landlord also claims Folium poured ethanol-soaked hemp waste down the toilets, causing so much damage the company had to rent porta-potties for staff use. Folium General Counsel Rich Calzada has denied the allegations of dumping the waste in the toilets; however, he had admitted that the company was dumping waste in the area that was not leased by the company.
“Folium Biosciences categorically denies allegations asserted by a former landlord that Folium dumped ethanol into the ground and water system via the toilet. The truth is that Folium recaptures and recycles ethanol used in its proprietary extraction process, thus there is no need to dump ethanol.” – Folium counsel in a statement to the Law Report
Earlier this year – after McKeefe got rid of Folium – a third-party environmental testing company estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 gallons of ethanol had been dumped and remediated of the land would cost about $2 million.
The lawsuit also claims that the walls and ceiling of the building were covered in film and had a chemical-like odor, Folium caused millions of dollars in damages to the building’s electrical system, didn’t pay property taxes, took payment from McKeefe to pay a contractor to fix the roof but never hired anyone to do the job, and taking equipment owned by the landlord when vacating the premises.