From Rose paradise to Cannabis haven?

Author: Ron van der Ploeg

MADRID, Spain: Full Moon Investments, the company which has quickly made a name for itself in the US medical cannabis industry, is announcing plans to acquire Spanish rose grower Aleia Roses.  

To date, discussions are advancing quickly but no official papers have been signed until approval of this acquisition has been finalised by all interested parties.

While the acquisition progresses Aleia Roses will continue to grow roses (‘Red Naomi’). The decision to swap the queen of flowers for medical cannabis will follow the final agreement.

Aleia Roses is a newcomer to rose cultivation: only five years ago, construction began of what was to become Spain’s most technically advanced and largest rose greenhouse complex. The rose farm’s 14-ha site in Soria, is an almost forgotten corner of rural Spain, a province in the autonomous community of Castilla y Leon. Madrid, to the south, is about a two-hour drive away. It is a region of farmland, scattered market towns and unspoiled habitat where you can  be lucky enough (unless you are a sheep farmer) to see wolves roaming the undulated landscape.

Rising 1,030 metres above sea level, the province stands out for its benign climate with warm days and cool nights, low humidity levels, its relatively close distance to the North European market and pristine water from the Duero river.

The presence of a biomass plant was the most decisive factor in choosing Soria as production location. The GESTAMP (an industrial group with revenues of €9 billion and market presence in over 25 countries) will supply the company’s primary energy needs (heat and power) from next year onwards. What’s more, the 17.02 MW plant draws its power from burning pine and olive wood cuttings. The produced carbon dioxide is captured, purified and used to enrich the glasshouse atmosphere. The CO2 is required for plant photosynthesis and increased CO2 concentrations of typically 1000 ppm within the glasshouse atmosphere will lead to improved crop productivity.

One of the last news snippets about Aleia Roses dates from October 2019, when the company had voluntarily applied for a legal procedure called ‘Voluntary Creditor Contest’, which main objectives were the protection of the company and the continuation of the business.

And there’s currently bloom and blossom for the company. Despite the virus-stuck challenges faced by all, industry experts told FCI that current prices for Aleia Roses are more than double the typical value for this time of year.

 

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