In one of my periodic open-ended questions, I asked the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group about their thoughts about the future of greenhouse vegetables the other day. Here is how I put it to them:
Here are some early responses:
ZT: I am of the opinion that Indoor Vertical Farming technology will developed to such an extent, that Greenhouses will no longer be a viable business model.
It makes me unpopular with people that sell equipment to Greenhouses.
CC: From my conversations with several companies, they would like to see herbs grown more so than vegetables. Cilantro is a big one that has been requested.
EB: Yes , two former flower growers 500 + k , sq/ft, green houses both former flowers & vegetable now growing weed in Niagara
I didn’t frame the question around “weed” but that clearly is on the minds of many.
Is optimism about the commercial cultivation of weed founded? Check out this article in the publication Resource World. The author said the ramping up of greenhouse capacity could be more than ambitious. From the story:
“In a related development, with razor-thin profits growing vegetables on extremely pricey farmland in Delta, a suburb south of Vancouver, no wonder its giant greenhouses are switching to pot that can generate revenue of 10 – 15 times vegetable production, according to the Delta Optimist. What is amazing is the size of cannabis greenhouses. One company is planning several million square feet of pot production – and that’s only one company in one municipality.
So here is the dual reality. Do you think that 40 listed marijuana companies are really worth $32 billion? A related question is: do pot growers actually expect an utterly fantastic surge in demand when marijuana becomes legal in Canada later this year?”
TK: Cannabis production in greenhouse operations is certainly a trend to watch in the next decade. Medical marijuana surely sounds more lucrative than tomatoes-on-the-vine, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the amount of over-eager investors could test the limits of demand.