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California

Ventura County: 486 workers to lose jobs when tomato growing facilities switch to cannabis

A fast-growing cannabis company has signed a contract to buy a huge greenhouse south of Camarillo, that is currently operated by Houweling’s Tomatoes. Former owner of the tomato growing business, Casey Houweling, has begun working on a ballot that will allow wholesale cannabis to grow, process, distribute and sell in unincorporated areas. Houweling is the owner of Glass Investments Projects, a major financial backer of MeasureO passed in November.

An important ballot rule was that cannabis could only be grown in existing greenhouses or warehouses. As a result, the 5.5 million ft2 facility has become extremely valuable. However, according to county records, Houweling sold the building to CEFF Camarillo Property, LLC, which has an address in Portland, Oregon, for $ 71 million in January 2019. It was before the ballot passed. By 2020, Houweling no longer owns a tomato growing company bearing his name.

Houweling officials recently submitted notices to the states and counties announcing the closure of their high-tech tomato growing business on 645 Laguna Road. According to the notice, 486 workers will be permanently dismissed.

Californianewstimes.com quoted Ventura County supervisor Kelly Long as saying: “I am very worried about the unemployment of the number of employees being dismissed for Houweling Tomatoes and hope that this will bring the same or more opportunities.”

Photo source: Youtube.com


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