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An Industry First: Nasdaq-Traded US Company Cadiz Gets Into The Hemp Business

Javier Hasse

Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI), a Los Angeles-based natural resources company that owns more than 70 square miles of property with water rights in Southern California, on Aug. 1 announced it had formed a 50/50 joint venture with the Glass House Group, a vertically integrated cannabis and hemp company, parent to Glass House Farms and its brands.

The JV will operate under the name SoCal Hemp Co. and will focus on growing industrial hemp at a commercial scale.

Kyle Kazan, Chairman and CEO of the Glass House Group, told Benzinga this is the first time a U.S.-based NASDAQ-listed company has formed a long-term relationship with a hemp and cannabis company.

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"As we bring our cannabis industry expertise over to the hemp industry, we look forward to capitalizing on the venture’s full capabilities to bring more cannabinoid-based products and business solutions to the U.S marketplace," he said.

Total U.S. sales for hemp-derived products hit approximately $1.1 billion in 2018, and are projected to more than double by 2022, according to New Frontier Data. Seeking to capitalize on this trend, SoCal Hemp Co. will grow up to 9,600 acres of organic sun grown hemp at the Cadiz Ranch in San Bernardino County, California. This should make it one of the largest commercial hemp cultivations sites in the country.

"The hemp space presents a tremendous new growth opportunity for Cadiz that is compatible with our other land and water initiatives and can deliver new value to our community, shareholders and partners," said Cadiz CEO Scott Slater. “Working with the Glass House Group, we are well positioned to meet rising market demand for a legal organically sun grown California hemp product, which will be supported by our unique desert agricultural location."

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