US greenhouse research facility likely to be built elsewhere due to uncertainty over greenhouse sale

The likelihood that NatureSweet’s greenhouse Site 1 will be turned into a world-class research and development Innovation Center gets less and less every day due to the uncertainty of the viability of its pending sale of two greenhouses to Bayacan Inc. for the purpose of establishing a commercial cannabis cultivation site, writes Jon Johnson in the Gila Herald

That was basically the message delivered by NatureSweet President and CEO Rodolfo Spielmann to the Graham County Board of Supervisors during the “Call to the Public” portion of the supervisors’ Monday morning meeting.

Spielmann said that, while he was not asking for any investment from the county to move forward with the research facility, other counties closer to NatureSweet’s home base in Texas have, and the company cannot wait until the November 2022 election to see if its greenhouse sale to Bayacan will go forward.

“We are on a tight deadline to have our research and development facility operating, and we just can’t keep waiting on the result of a never-ending process,” Spielmann said in a press release after the meeting. “We want to stay in this community and continue to support education and economic development in the region, but every day that goes by with our operations inactive, we are hurting the business and our mission to transform the lives of agricultural workers in North America. We are making every possible effort to continue investing, and we have maintained what I mentioned since the very beginning: I’m committed to reinvesting the proceedings of our sale to Bayacan toward building an Innovation Center. I also want to be sure that it’s clear for all: Our business can’t wait for two years on a decision to invest.”

The release continues to state, “If NatureSweet is unable to generate the funds to build its Innovation Center in Bonita due to efforts that are blocking the sale of some of its greenhouses, the company will have no other option but to consider and accept the incentives other states offer to bring this project to their regions. NatureSweet is requesting clarity, support, and expedited decision-making for purposes of continuing its business operations and investing in Graham County. Without this necessary clarity, support, and expedited decision-making, the company may be forced to explore other alternatives.”

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