An abundance of produce, raised in greenhouses, is hanging in the balance threatened by the incoming tidal wave of easy-to-grow cannabis in need of more greenhouse space. Farmers looking for a more lucrative income are looking at margins three or four times more than what they can earn from growing fruits and veggies. 

Profit margins on produce have spent ten years being eroded by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and imported product.

Marijuana, like floral flowers, fruits, vegetables, and grains, is classified as an agricultural product; the government and the Federation of agriculture agree. But the agricultural community is divided in two: those who want to grow cannabis in their greenhouse facilities and those who feel agriculture means food-only.

With the Canadian cannabis industry in a merger and acquisition spurt, licensed producers (LPs) are looking to scale up as quickly as possible. And they’re looking for facilities that are already semi-robotic. It's certainly simpler than building one from the ground up.

Starting an LP from scratch includes a long application process (even Health Canada's abridged version of it), securing permits, recruiting talent and training employees.  

Flower Greenhouses are facing new challenges, including online shopping and cost increases. Facilities located in Ontario—where a number of these cannabis conversions are occuring—are feeling an extra squeeze on profit margins due to the 21 percent minimum wage bump that kicked in at the beginning of this year.

Greenhouses offer cannabis-growing converts cheap, natural conditions for cannabis and a crop that requires less labour, energy, and moisture than some of the more conventional ones.

  Posted: Wednesday, March 28th, 4:20am 8 months ago
Profile PictureWritten By: Davie Dabbs aka Popeye

Davie is a long time cannabis professional who has worked not only as a cultivator but in all aspects of retail cannabis. From budtender, to wholesale and retail management, and from harvester to advanced hydroponic specialist, Davie has been around the block more than once. Now residing in beautiful British Columbia, Davie now works with acres of greenhouses, producing some of the best buds in the country.

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