Vertical farms: vegetables lose place to marijuana and make-up

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Driven by the need to secure supplies of fresh vegetables during the pandemic, some vertical farms now expand into other high-margin areas, such as medical cannabis, health supplements and cosmetics.

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South Korean startup Farm 8 Co. is among several urban inland farmers whose sales increased during Covid-19. The goal is to increase sales by almost 50% to 90 billion won (US $ 79 million) this year, in part because of increased production of medicinal and cosmetic plants, such as ginseng, centella asiatica and artemisia campestris, said the chief executive. president, Kang Dae Hyun. In August, the company entered the country’s first regulatory-free zone for medical cannabis, growing and processing hemp to cannabidiol (CBD).

“There is a huge demand for medical cannabis and the market is growing rapidly,” said Kang in an interview. “At the moment, most of our production is dedicated to salad greens, but in the future, we will increase the production of cosmetic and medical plants to maximize profit.”