Morris grower sowing seeds in medical cannabis

LINCOLN PARK – A longtime family agriculture business in Morris County has partnered with a publicly-traded corporation to enter a new growth business — medical marijuana.

The VandeVrede family business began in 1973 with a small farm in Lincoln Park and expanded over the decades to the popular Gro-Rite Greenhouse and Garden Center on Hillview Road near the Lincoln Park Airport. That property includes about 25 acres of land and a greenhouse covering three-quarters of an acre.

The family used to grow flowers in the greenhouse, but searching for an opportunity to abandon seasonal growing in favor of year-round production, converted the greenhouse in 2010 to a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled hydroponic growing system, where it produces its successful line of Edible Garden-brand produce.

The Edible Garden product lineup — all Global Food Safety Initiative-certified and non-genetically modified — includes butterhead lettuce and herbs such as basil that are sold to more than...

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