Monday, January 18, 2016

From blue to green: The BlueStar building is now a weed-processing facility

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM

click to enlarge From blue to green: The BlueStar building is now a weed-processing facility
Blu-rays are out. Marijuana oil is in.

In April 2014, Dan Olson, kicked Erick Hansen, the CEO of BlueStar Digital Technologies who's currently on trial for fraud, out of the Commercial Building downtown. 

"I evicted Erick and changed the locks in the doors so he couldn’t get in and couldn’t get out," Olson says. "When someone owes you money, that’s what you do, right?"

Olson said Hansen hadn't paid his rent in two months when he was evicted. It took a while to fill the space. But last summer, he finally did with two companies in the cannabis industry. 

He's part of the first company, Odo, a marijuana oil processor allowed under Washington state's marijuana-legalizing Initiative 502. The company focuses purely on extracting the oils from marijuana plants. 

"We sell that to other processors who want to refine that further and turn it into edibles or topicals or smokables," Olson says. "It’s actually the most sophisticated I-502 processor in probably the entire state. It’s also one of the largest."  

Originally, his team had looked at constructing another building elsewhere. But when they saw the Commercial Building's clean room — constructed to produce BlueRay discs without contamination — they realized it was perfect for extraction purposes.

"Once we got the [BlueStar] equipment out of here it was a matter of getting it all set-up and having it ready," Olson says. In the future, Olson hopes to add more machinery to increase Odo's production. 

Soon after Odo moved in, Olson says he was approached by a local real estate developer named Brian Main about locating his hemp-based cannabinoid supplement business in the Commercial Building as well.

In the past, Main has worked with both Hansen and Ridpath con artist Greg Jeffreys, but Olson says when he checked into Main, Main came up clean. 

"I talked to both of the FBI agents here in town and did my due diligence," Olson says. "[They said] that Brian’s a good guy. He lost a lot of money on that real estate deal, that he was just caught up with everybody else and didn’t have wrongdoing." 

Main has argued that he was conned by Jeffreys like everyone else. 

Main's business, EVR, sells premium cannabidiol (CBD) products. Because CBD is not psychocative, it's not regulated in the same way marijuana is. What it exactly does do, on the other hand, continues to be hotly tested and debated by the research community.

Main's business synergizes nicely with Odo, Olson says. The rest of the building is available for development as well — the commercial kitchen, for instance. Theoretically, that space could be used to make pot brownies, cookies and other edibles. 

"We aren’t interested in doing edibles," Olson says. "We have talked about building out space and renting it out, so somebody else could come in and do the edibles."

The top two floors — which under Hansen had become a bed-bug ridden, often unheated apartment complex — may become condos, Olson suggests. "We’re looking at turning those into condos, not apartments," Olson says. "I don’t wanna be a low-income landlord."

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About The Author

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters was a staff reporter for the Inlander from 2009 to 2023. He reported on a wide swath of topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.His work investigated deep flaws in the Washington...