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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) (“Cadiz”, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that SoCal Hemp LLC, its joint venture subsidiary with Glass House Group, has completed its first harvest of industrial hemp at the Cadiz Valley Ranch in California’s Mojave Desert as part of a research program announced earlier this year. The first hemp crop, which was planted during the height of the summer, was successfully grown in the open-air, desert environment demonstrating that commercial hemp production is a viable crop for the Company’s agricultural operations. A second phase of the trial is already underway, and preparations have begun to expand to commercial production in 2020 on up to 1,280 acres.
“We are pleased with the results of our research trial this quarter as it served as an important proof of concept for our new hemp-focused venture,” said Scott Slater CEO & President of Cadiz Inc. and member of the Board of Managers of SoCal Hemp. “We sought to test whether we could farm a sun-grown, organic hemp product at Cadiz and we now are confident that hemp can be successfully cultivated in this desert environment.”
SoCal Hemp’s first industrial hemp crop was planted in July and harvested in mid-October. During this period, temperatures were sustained above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the area experienced summer weather events, including monsoonal rains and sustained high winds, yet the crop was hearty and experienced measured growth. The harvested crop has been dried and cured and will now be studied under our research program for suitability for a variety of hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (“CBD”) based products.
SoCal Hemp intends to transition its hemp research program into a commercial operation in 2020. State and federal laws and regulations have recently been adopted that support the development of a robust national commercial hemp industry by providing clarity and resources to hemp farmers and those industries that support it. This week, United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program (“U.S. Hemp Program”), creating long-awaited regulations to support hemp farms nationwide. The U.S. Hemp Program is expected to back normalized agricultural and financial sector services for farmers who grow hemp. The new rules, along with legislation and regulations adopted this year by the State of California, encourage a promising hemp industry for operators in the state. To learn more about the USDA guidelines, click here.
“Hemp and its many products can support a more sustainable climate and environment, and offer tremendous, undiscovered benefits for humans, plants and animals,” Graham Farrar, President of Glass House Group and CEO of SoCal Hemp. “We appreciate the federal, state and local efforts to embrace the opportunities hemp production offers Americans across the country.”
According to New Frontier Data, a data and market intelligence firm focused on the cannabis and hemp industries, total U.S. sales for hemp-derived products were approximately $1.1 billion in 2018, and are projected to more than double by 2022. Another recent report by market intelligence firm Brightfield Farms, estimated that the US CBD market would grow to $23.7 billion by 2023, up from a $5 billion market size in 2019.
SoCal Hemp is a new joint venture between Cadiz Inc. and Glass House Group positioned to meet rising demand for California grown hemp and hemp-derived products. A partnership of reliable water, sun-bathed desert land and innovative, organic hemp cultivation, SoCal Hemp will deliver an open-air, organic hemp product farmed in Southern California’s Mojave Desert and processed and sold nationwide. The JV is engaged in 2019 in a research program at Cadiz’s Fenner Valley agricultural operation, which has sustainably farmed a variety of crops for over 25 years, and intends to bring to market hemp and hemp-derived products and solutions at a commercial scale in 2020 to meet growing business and consumer market demands. SoCal Hemp has the potential to create the largest, vertically integrated, commercial hemp operation based in the world’s fastest-growing hemp market – California. Follow SoCal Hemp on Twitter @SoCalHemp and Instagram socalhemp_co.
About Cadiz Inc.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) is a natural resources leader that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources in Southern California. The Company is the largest agricultural operation in San Bernardino, California, where it has sustainably farmed since the 1980s and is now actively pursuing a joint venture to organically cultivate hemp on up to 9,600 acres. The Company also continues to partner with public water agencies to implement the Cadiz Water Project, recently named a Top 10 Infrastructure Project that over two phases will create a new water supply for approximately 400,000 people and make available up to 1 million acre-feet of new groundwater storage capacity for the region. Guided by a holistic land management plan, we are dedicated to pursuing sustainable projects and practicing responsible stewardship of our land, water and agricultural resources. For more information, please visit www.cadizinc.com.
Glass House Group is one of the largest, privately held, vertically-integrated cannabis and hemp companies in the world. Its family of eco-friendly, community-conscious cultivation, manufacturing, brands and retail locations bring to market only the finest strains of cannabis and hemp using cutting-edge care, technologies and environmental sensibility to deliver uncompromising craft-quality strains, flower, extracts, pre-rolls, vaporizers, cartridges and apparel. As a leading brand-enabling company, celebrities, artists, athletes and influencers turn to Glass House Group to create powerful partnerships that reach new audiences and drive consumer engagement. Currently, Glass House Group is expanding its suite of companies, product lines and brands and is expected to see sizable growth throughout 2019 and beyond.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT: This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including statements related to the future operating and financial performance of the Company and the financing activities of the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those reflected in the Company’s forward-looking statements include the Company’s ability to maximize value for Cadiz land and water resources, the Company’s ability to obtain new financing as needed, the receipt of additional permits for the water project and other factors and considerations detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.