Organic firm eyes Nevada
January 25, 2014
Terra Tech, a publicly traded organic-produce grower operating throughout the Midwest, Northeast and Florida, plans to expand to Nevada and into the medical marijuana market.
"We're growing produce now, and it's a great business for us," said CEO Derek Peterson. "We have this infrastructure already built. We're in medical marijuana (in Northern California), and we want to complement it with cannabis."
He said Terra Tech will apply for licensing as a cultivator and dispensary when the application process opens in the fall, starting in Clark County.
But Peterson said the company has its eyes on other parts of the state as well.
Terra Tech offers good agricultural practices that buyers can rely on, Peterson said.
"Most people doing this don't really know where their product is coming from," Peterson said. "It's grown in some basement, indoors, using lighting and the carbon footprint is ridiculous."
Terra Tech will use proven agricultural methods featuring hydroponics that it manufactures in greenhouses, he said. In the long term, Peterson said, that is the only sustainable model for growing not only the herbs and other products under his brand name Edible Garden but for marijuana.
The company's existing system, he said, is based on the "locally grown" mode.
"We don't deliver outside of a three- or four-hour radius," Peterson said.
He said that model will continue when the company brings the Edible Garden brand to Nevada.
While applying for marijuana permits, they would start by selling produce of all types to the resorts in Southern Nevada.
The state, he said, offers lots of sunshine, "tons of land to build greenhouses" and a voracious market for quality produce in the resorts.
Peterson said the firm want to expand into cannabis production because, while herbs such as basil are very profitable, marijuana would be far more profitable.
The company just opened a $4.5 million, 5-acre greenhouse in New Jersey with 75 jobs and an estimated revenue of $10 million a year, he said.
"If we were growing cannabis in that, you can imagine what the numbers would look like," he said. "It's a no-brainer."
"We want to go into a couple of different counties," he said, adding that the company's estimated value is more than $30 million.