TUCSON, AZ — Seed giant, Monsanto Corp. bought 155.65-acres of agricultural land in Avra Valley northwest of Tucson last week for $3,741,510 ($24,038 per acre) from Avra Plantation, Inc. (Herb Kai, president). The property is located at the southwest corner of Sanders Road Extension and Twin Peaks Road in Marana.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the purchase came nearly two months after Monsanto reported plans to build a greenhouse on seven acres in the Tucson area when the company told the Star it would hire 30 to 60 employees and its representatives said it would invest $100 million in the project.
The transaction follows on the heels of German drug and chemical group Bayer sealing a deal to purchase Monsanto for $66 billion, a deal that could represent the biggest takeover agreement by a German company and include paying off a $9 billion debt for Monsanto. After months of wrangling, Bayer won over Monsanto’s board. But this massive deal still faces a tough row to hoe before its vast profit potential can be harvested.
Now, some are predicting the merger could also mean the takeover of the marijuana industry.
Questions remain about what, if any, operations or projects Monsanto plans for the site as well as why Monsanto closed on the property prior to inking a tax incentive deal with Pima County.
Natural News reports Monsanto has an intimate business relationship with Scotts Miracle-Gro, that manufactures RoundUp, and Scotts has looked to capitalize on the expanding pot industry in states where the plant has been legalized or decriminalized. The company’s CEO, Jim Hagadorn, has stated his intentions to spend up to $500 million to completely buy out the marijuana industry.
Bayer is already partnered with GW Pharmaceuticals, a company based in the United Kingdom that grows cannabis and produces medicines from its compounds.
Insiders believe that Monsanto and Bayer are interested in creating GMO marijuana.
Billionaire investor George Soros, who owns 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, previously waged a campaign to legalize pot in Uruguay so that he could invest in the plant.
Michael Straumietis, founder and owner of hydroponics nutrients company Advanced Nutrients, has warned the marijuana community for some time about Monsanto plans for a corporate takeover of the marijuana industry.”
Straumietis claims, “South American governmental insiders report that Monsanto is working there on genetically-modified cannabis, along with pharmaceuticalizing THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenoids.”
The hydroponics nutrients owner warns that if biotech giants get involved in the cannabis industry, they’ll monopolize it the same way they have the seed, medicine and agricultural chemical industries.
“These corporations have reduced the variety and availability of native seeds. They genetically modify crops so farmers have to buy new seeds every year, and use corporate chemicals like RoundUp to grow them. They’d do the same thing with GMO marijuana,” said Straumietis.
The purchase in Avra Valley could mean a lot of things, and a tax incentive would expand the county’s foreign trade zone to include the Monsanto site. Inclusion in the zone would reduce import duties and other benefits besides property tax abatements for Monsanto.
A looming question that remains is why such a cash rich company would be considered for Pima County tax incentives? One environmental activist group, Rising Tide Tucson, has announced it will fight tax breaks for Monsanto.