Florida company planning marijuana grow on Kowitz Rd.

A Florida-based company plans to use a 26-acre property in Lebanon to grow marijuana and manufacture marijuana-related products.

In a Sept. 19 press release, Kaya Holdings, Inc. announced that it purchased “26 acres of prime farmland in Lebanon.”

That property is owned by 34225 Kowitz Road, LLC, which bears the address of the property.

According to the release, “the company plans to develop the property to house the maximum canopy permitted by law for its legal medical and recreational marijuana farming operations, as well as construct facilities for the manufacture and packaging of Kaya owned brands of concentrates and oils, edibles, and creams to be sold through Kaya Shack stores and, subsequently through wholesalers to other retailers.”

Kaya operates three retail marijuana establishments in Oregon, according to Oregon Liquor License Commission records. Two of those are in Marion County, one is in Multnomah County.

Kaya Holdings CEO Craig Frank said it will take time for the farm to be operational, but they expect to be able to employ between 30 and 50 people within three years.

Frank said the grow will not be outdoors or visible, but rather will be in greenhouses or structures on the property.

Kaya Holdings will not sublet any of the property to other grow operations, he said.

The company announced in March that they were looking for land and had hired a Realtor.

“We had been looking for nine months between the Salem and Portland corridor,” Frank said.

He learned about the property in Lebanon through Ross Day, an attorney who has represented Kaya Holdings.

Day said his “wife bought the property.”

“We were planning to move there, but for personal reasons we couldn’t.”

According to Linn County sales records, Shelley Day bought the property on Aug. 18, 2017 for $510,000.

On Aug. 21, she formed a limited liability company, 34225 Kowitz Road, LLC, with Ross Day named as the registered agent.

According to a quitclaim deed filed with the county, Shelley Day released the property to 34225 Kowitz Road, LLC for $1.

Day said he knew his clients were looking for a property so he told them about it.

“She had 100 percent interest in the LLC,” Ross Day said. “She sold it to Kaya Holdings.”

Ross Day said he would not divulge for what amount the LLC was sold to Kaya.

Linn County property records show the 26-acre property is owned by 34225 Kowitz Road, LLC, but no public records were found that show the sale of the company to Kaya Holdings.

The Oregon Secretary of State requires publicly traded companies to file annual financial reports. Any changes should show up on the company’s August 2018 filings.

Kaya Holdings, Inc. is a public company that trades on the OTCQB exchange under the symbol KAYS. Companies that trade on that exchange are required to file reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of Oct. 11, Ross Day was still listed as the registered agent on documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State.

Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey sent an email to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on Sept. 22 with a question “about soliciting funds for investments on a property that a company apparently does not own.”

As of Oct. 11, Lindsey had not gotten a response from the SEC, he said, but he sent another email to Clayton on Oct. 5.

Lindsey told Clayton that residents in the area were “becoming concerned with the operation.”

He cited an Oregon State Police Drug Enforcement report that was released in January 2017.

“Diverted Oregon cannabis has an expansive geographic footprint and has been detected outside of the United States,” according to the report.

“Oregon originated cannabis is trafficked to known distribution hubs across the Southeastern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States. Specifically, the states of Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Florida represent statistically significant destinations.”

Lindsey also expressed concerns about financial aspects of the business.

At press time, Lindsey had not heard back from anyone at the SEC.

Frank said his company checked with the county, through attorneys, before acquiring the land.

Linn County Associate Planner Alyssa Boles said the county does not have any land use applications “for any marijuana-related use on that property.”

In their Sept. 27 press release, Kaya Holdings said they anticipate once “the grow side of the operation is operating at full capacity the facility will yield in excess of 4,500 pounds of marijuana annually to feed the Kaya Shack Supply Chain.”

On Oct. 11, Kaya Holdings released information about its annual shareholders meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 20.

“Among the topics to be discussed in the call are Kaya Shack store performance, new store development, OLCC licensing update, the acquisition of farmland and the development of Kaya Farms,” according to the release.

For more information about Kaya Holdings, visit www.kayaholdings.com.