April 2, 2024
You are here:  Home  >  Agribusiness  >  Current Article

Cannabis company closes purchase of former Houweling’s Tomatoes greenhouses


A Glass House Brands cannabis greenhouse in Carpinteria (courtesy photo)

Glass House Brands, a publicly traded cannabis company, has closed its purchase of the former Houweling’s Tomatoes property near Camarillo.

The 160-acre property has six greenhouses that total 5.5 million square feet. Glass House bought it for $93 million in cash, plus stock considerations, the company said in a Sept. 15 news release. The closing price was well below the initial price of $118 million, Glass House said.

Houweling’s closed its tomato and cucumber operation and began laying off its 486 employees in August. Glass House, which was founded in Santa Barbara in 2015 and went public in a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in July, plans to turn the Houweling’s location into one of the world’s biggest cannabis greenhouses.

“We are thrilled to officially close escrow after significantly reducing the price, which will keep an additional $25 million of cash on our balance sheet which is essentially debt-free today,” Glass House Chairman and CEO Kyle Kazan said in the news release. “We can now commence the first phase of the facility’s conversion and licensing, which will dramatically increase our cultivation capacity.”

After the first phase of that conversion, the property is expected to produce more than 180,000 dry pounds of sellable cannabis per year, an increase of more than 300% from the company’s current growing capacity, Glass House said.

Graham Farrar, Glass House’s president and co-founder, said in the news release that the former Houweling’s property is “an absolute unicorn” that will give the company “the ability to produce the highest quality cannabis at the lowest possible cost.”

Glass House Brands currently grows cannabis at two farms in Santa Barbara County and also owns four dispensaries in California, including the Farmacy in Santa Barbara. The company headquarters is in Long Beach.

The company’s stock, which trades on a Toronto-based exchange, was trading just below $5 on Sept. 15, about 10% above its opening price.

Participants in the 2018 Farm Day tour the greenhouses at Houweling’s Tomatoes. (file photo)