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Marijuana and Makeup Are New Growth Areas for Vertical Farms

  • Boosted by the pandemic, indoor growers are looking to expand
  • South Korean startup Farm 8 sees new opportunities in medicine
Korean Smart Farm Start-up Farm 8
Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg
Updated on

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

South Korean startup Farm 8 Co. is among a proliferation of indoor urban growers that saw sales jump during Covid-19. It’s looking to increase sales by almost 50% to 90 billion won ($79 million) this year, partly by boosting production of medical and cosmetic-based plants such as ginseng, centella asiatica and artemisia campestris, Chief Executive Officer Kang Dae Hyun said. In August, the company joined the country’s first regulation-free zone for medical cannabis, growing and processing hemp for cannabidiol (CBD).