Medicinal cannabis plantation producers are on the list of potential buyers for one of New Zealand's most productive chrysanthemum hothouse nurseries, says an agent.
GAIT Flowers Nursery in the Hauraki Plains is for sale as a going concern business and freehold property for an asking price of $1.3 million plus GST through Bayleys Hamilton.
Salesperson Josh Smith says a potential buyer expressed interest in converting the Kerepehi nursery into what could be New Zealand's first commercial scale medicinal cannabis growing operation.
The nursery, at 346 Reservoir Canal Rd, produces 15 varieties of chrysanthemum, encompassing yellow, white, pink/mauve, red and green colourings.
In the June to May 2018/2019 production year, the nursery harvested 464,251 stems — nearly 43 per cent more than in 2015/16.
The nursery consists of a pair of three-bay greenhouses, one two-bay greenhouse, two propagation houses, a three-bay implement shed and skyline garage. Combined, the greenhouses encompass 4214sq m of covered growing space.
"In its current entity all product is sold to one wholesaler at an agreed price — allowing for accurate budgeting for the business's income," Smith says.
"Two converted shipping containers provide storage facilities for the cut stems before they are sent to market. The business chattels also include a 161sq m four-bedroom owner/manager's home.
"The nursery currently draws on council-supplied water for its irrigation. There is provision on the property for installing a 'green' water supply system that could utilise water collected off the hothouse roof tops and be diverted into holding tanks. An area between the sheds has been kept aside for this.
"Heating for hot houses is run throughout the colder months by waste oil burners. Productivity has been further increased year-on-year by under-floor heating under the propagation trays, where seedlings bloom."
In summer, the hothouse roof tops and sides are opened up to natural warmth. Nutrients are supplied to the plants and soil via the automated watering system.
The GAIT Flowers Nursery business employs seven part-time staff and two school students on weekends, along with the two owner/managers.
The nursery sends freshly-picked deliveries three times a week to its Auckland wholesaler.
The property sits on 2ha of flat land surrounded on three sides by dairy farms. "The hot house buildings occupy 50 per cent of the land," says Smith. "There is an opportunity to expand the number of hothouses within the current boundary, whether for the production of chrysanthemums or commercial quantities of medicinal cannabis.
"As a going concern business, the GAIT Flowers enterprise would provide substantial holding income for a potential medicinal cannabis horticulturalist while the legislation to legalise production is passed through Parliament."