The 2023 CEA Market – How are we evolving?

The 2023 CEA Market – How are we evolving?

The U.S. controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry received lots of publicity over the past 10 years. From interviews on CNBC to articles in Forbes, investors and the general business community found interest in an industry that seemed new despite the fact that it was anything but.  

This new interest led to substantial capital invested into greenhouses, vertical farms, and other companies supporting the commercial ag-tech and horticulture industry. All this “noise” made it hard to discern what was real, hype or fabricated by overly creative (yet inspiring) pitch decks.

From this point forward, we must focus on a reset of known information. One that clarifies the reality of our U.S.-based commercial food producing horticulture market. This reset must take into account the benefits of all the money invested between 2017-2022 that led to building new farms.  

More importantly, it must encourage people, investors and business innovators to continue focusing on the benefits (mostly to growers or farmers) of our small but still-growing controlled environment agriculture industry.  

Note: The following information mentions ornamental and cannabis production because these segments contribute to our industry. However, they are not often included in the definition of controlled environment agriculture, indoor ag or vertical farming.

Industry Realities

Let us start with a handful of observations that you are free to comment on below.  We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.

1) The cannabis industry began its path to legalization in 1996 when California legalized medical marijuana. Since then, 40 states followed California in legalizing medicinal use. But the real industry boom began in 2012 when Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of cannabis.  

Continue reading.

Photo: AppHarvest, Somerset Kentucky.



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