A few weeks ago, I visited one of the largest Phalaenopsis growers in central Florida, DeLeon’s Bromeliads. The nursery has been there for decades and workers were frantically packing orders. It was peak season and the colorful blooms seemed to go on for miles.
A large sign on the property read, “Closing soon. Everything must go.” I went into the sales office to get an explanation. Imagine my surprise when the manager informed me that DeLeon’s was getting out of the orchid business and going into cannabis.
That sentiment was echoed at other facilities that I toured. “We can make a hundred times what we make on orchids”, said one grower. Another remarked “We are just waiting for the permits.” In every case, it wasn’t a question of if, but when.
Commercial orchid farmers have a long history of changing crops to meet the needs of the public.
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