Rocky Flats Hemp Phytoremediation Project

What is Phytoremediation?

Phytoremediation refers to the technologies that use living plants to clean up soil, air, and water contaminated with hazardous contaminants.

What is Hemp?

Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago.


Did you know Wes McKinley, former Colorado House of Representative, Foreman of the Rocky Flats Grand Jury, and Rancher sponsored and passed HB 12- 1099 ?? (A bill to study hemp. Concerning the establishment of an industrial hemp remediation pilot program to study phytoremediation through the growth of hemp on contaminated soil). Introduced in House on 1/18/2012. The governor signed this measure into law on 6/4/2012. Colorado moved along to legalizing cannabis and industrial hemp but the pilot hemp phytoremediation project continues…with our Rocky Flats Downwinders Pilot Hemp Phytoremediation Project.

In 2018, Rocky Flats Downwinders were notified that we were awarded The Roddenberry Foundation’s Catalyst Grant, a small grant awarded to early stage, innovative and unconventional ideas that address serious global challenges to initiate our pilot hemp phytoremediation project utilizing contaminated soil from near Rocky Flats. The grant will fund the development of a pilot hemp phytoremediation project to study the use of hemp to clean radionuclides from soil and will produce an  community resource guide that will educate communities about hemp farming and phytroremediation. 

Collecting Soil near Rocky Flats with Dr. Michael Ketterer, Sasha Stiles and Tiffany Hansen.

Dr. Michael Ketterer


We are so grateful to Rubi Hemp Solutions  and owner Zack Guignardi for partnering with us on this project. 

Zack Guignardi

We are honored to have Dr. Michael Ketterer, Soil Scientist and Plutonium Expert consulting us on this project. He will be testing soil and plant matter, before, during and after the hemp harvest.

Dr. Ketterer

We are forever grateful to Dr. Elizabeth Pilon-Smits, Biologist, Hemp Pytoremediation Expert and CSU Professor for advising us  on this project

Dr. Elizabeth Pilon-Smits

Rocky Flats Hemp Phytoremediation Project Update:

Hemp Drying post harvest. These plants were harvested late October and dried on-site at Rubi Hemp Solutions. On November 11, 2019. The plants were transported by Tiffany Hansen and Dr. Michael Ketterer to Dr. Kettterer possession. The plants were burned and analysis is set to occur in December 2019 in Arizona at Dr. Ketterer lab.

RuBi Tissue Culture and Genetic Solutions (above greenhouse and laboratory May 13, 2019

Glass vials contain the dissolved hemp samples.

Separating Pu from the sample solutions using solid phase extraction.


 RockyflatsfinalreportKetterer Hansen PuHemp 14Jan2020


Initial Report of Soil Sampling off Indiana St.

Findings show an obvious elevation above fallout-level activities has been observed (soils are in the range of 0.9 to 2.7 picocuries /gram 239+240Pu), and the isotope ratios indicate that the Pu is ~ 100+% Rocky Flats origin. It is readily apparent that the Pu source is not explainable as “stratospheric fallout”. A comparison of the 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in the samples vs. the known global fallout ratio (Kelley et al., 1999) of 0.180 ± 0.014 (2-sigma)indicatesa prevalence of weapons-grade Pu, as is expected from the local Rocky Flats sources. For the full report click here. 

Location of Samples.

Sensi Magazine August 2019 – Fix-A-Flats Could Planting Hemp Help Clean up the Soil at Rocky Flats? A Local Coalition of Downwinders Wants to Find Out

Will hemp absorb plutonium?

Scientists granted soil samples near Rocky Flats after persistent efforts

For more information on hemp and its ability to clean soil click on the articles below.



Plutonium Expert and Soil Scientist, Dr. Michael Ketterer  is NOW offering reasonably priced soil sampling using Mass Spectrometry.