Fruit, vegetable giant latest to join smokable hemp industry

A major fruit and vegetable processor is entering the market for smokable hemp flower, converting a former pear and apple cannery in Washington state to hemp drying.

Seneca Foods, a Nasdaq-listed (SENEA) company that processes fruits and vegetables from more than 2,000 farms across the U.S., said it has acquired a 49% stake in CraftAg, a hemp company based in Beverly, Washington.

Seneca and CraftAg have formed a joint venture, also called CraftAg, that will dry and process smokable hemp sourced from Washington state growers. The former cannery is a 270,000-square-foot facility in Sunnyside, Washington.

Seneca priced the acquisition and conversion of the cannery at $10 million. The deal includes updating an existing CraftAg facility for seed and clone propagation near Royal City, Washington.

Seneca said in its announcement that the cannery is “ideally located in the heart of the Yakima Valley, a region well-suited for growing specialty crops such as hemp.”