There used to be more than 180 rose growers along the highway in California’s Monterey County. Now there’s only one. The flower industry went south to the lower-cost country of Colombia.
With marijuana legalization in California, Monterey’s greenhouses have shifted from growing roses to growing cannabis. But Paul Henderson—whose Salinas-based company Grupo Flor was instrumental in Monterey’s marijuana revival—isn’t waiting for North America’s cannabis growers to suffer the same fate as its flower producers. So Grupo Flor is preparing to plant its first crop a couple of hours outside the Colombian city of Cali.
“When the industry starts to move toward commoditization over the next decade,” says Henderson, “Colombia is the only place that makes sense.” An equatorial climate and low-cost, skilled labor give Colombia a clear advantage in agricultural trade. And that makes the nation a threat to North American companies like Canopy Growth (ticker: CGC), Tilray (TLRY) andAurora Cannabis (ACB). These firms have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building the climate-controlled grow-operations needed to grow weed in cold latitudes. [Read more at Barron’s]