By Ron Howells • 29 August 2021 • 21:20
Largest rose greenhouse in Europe trades production on hectare site for medicinal cannabis.
The municipality of Garray (Soria) in Spain could boast until recently that it hosted “the largest rose greenhouse in Europe.”
However, the company that owned it, Aleia Roses, went into liquidation, putting more than two hundred workers out of employment.
That was a year ago, but now, a new firm, Ondara, has acquired the entire company. Although at first, the new owners wanted to make roses compatible with other crops, between February and April this year it decided to uproot the rose bushes altogether to focus on “the new project”: medicinal cannabis.
In August 2021, the company got the go-ahead when it received a license from the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS) to cultivate three hectares of land and produce medical cannabis.
Sara Lamata, spokesperson for in Spain, said they compete with only nine other companies that have also received the go-ahead to cultivate for medical or scientific purposes.
Full Moon, the American fund to which the company belongs, said that potential clients could be pharmacists that in Germany or the United Kingdom and if they do well, they will expand, but for now the remaining 11 hectares of the greenhouse will only receive cleaning and maintenance.
“Using all the space for cannabis cultivation could mean doubling all of Europe’s production,” said Lamata.
“Although there are very few people from the municipality working there”, Aleia’s drive is renewed with Ondara. People don’t care about the product, what really matters is the jobs. Garray was previously a benchmark in roses and now it will be in medicinal cannabis,” said The Mayor of Garray, María José Jiménez Las Heras.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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