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The royal couple’s 5½-acre Santa Barbara estate sits on land perfectly suited for cannabis growing, says the entrepreneur. He describes his offer as “a golden opportunity” that could net the Duke and Duchess of Sussex nearly £3million per year. Santa Barbara’s soil and climate has transformed it into one of the world’s pot-growing hotspots. Local tax coffers were boosted by £16million from the industry last year. Alki says he will give Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, hemp seeds he has specially cultivated for them for free, and then he will buy the crop back once its grown. His custom-made seed, called the Prince Harry, has been developed to work as a painkiller.
Alki, a cola bottling heir, is so serious about the offer that he has invited the couple to his Malibu home next month where he hopes to “present the Prince Harry seed to them in a gold box”.
He has signed similar deals with scores of other growers in the region. Last year his Swissx company also signed up deals on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, covering 3,600 acres of land with a forecasted yield of £2.9billion.
He says the royal deal “has been individually tailored”.
“My genetics team, led by Dr Olof Olsson, has created the Prince Harry seed. The modification is to supercharge it with CGB, the analgesic, painkilling, part of cannabis.”
The psychoactive element of the plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, has been modified to a “nondetect” level of 0.001per cent, he added.
“Partners retain independence, they receive free training, seed, supplies, and share in the ownership of the plants. Swissx then guarantees it will buy back the crops and at fair market rates.”
Harry and Meghan, who recently bought their mansion for an estimated £11million, have been keen to earn an income since stepping down as full-time working royals.
Alki said the model would generate £1million per harvest for the couple, with three expected harvests a year.Average annual running costs would be £10,000 per acre.
The mountains surrounding Santa Barbara converge to channel fog and cooling Pacific Ocean breezes across the region – an eco-climate that spawned its worldfamous wine industry. But figures show a large number of vine growers are now switching to hemp.
Even though Santa Barbara represents just 1.8 per cent of California’s land it was issued 35 percent of the state’s hemp cultivation licences in 2019.
Alki said he hoped Harry and Meghan would appreciate the ethical potential.
“They have a naturally caring nature so I think the medical potential will be an area they will want to explore,” he said.
“I’ve made it clear in the material I’ve passed on that exciting genetic advances are fast-developing and I want them to be part of that.”
Alki is also hoping Harry takes a leaf out of his father’s love of gardening, saying: “Charles loves to talk to his plants to help them grow. I know Harry will follow that hands-on approach.
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“The human voice makes a difference. I sing love songs to my plants, it makes them grow quicker.”
Harry and Meghan’s passion for horticulture is well documented. They built an organic vegetable plot at their previous home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
And Meghan said in an interview: “Growing up in southern California, I loved gardening and growing my own vegetables. “That farm-to-table ethos was ingrained at such a young age.”
Her father Thomas Markle has claimed that guests at her first wedding to Trevor Engelson were gifted marijuana. Her nephew Tyler Dooley is a cannabis farmer in Oregon.
Alki, currently valued at £2.35billion, said that Harry and Meghan could enter the world of the superrich if they accept his deal.
“The royals have a big mortgage to pay now, their billionaire neighbours will tell them an easy income is there if they want to take it.
“Harry can easily become a figure in the hemp industry here and make a fortune. Horticulture is in his blood.”Alki also revealed that the crops can be shipped to England.
“That is going to be a key part of the appeal for Harry,” he said.
“What is grown will be used for my products sold to his home nation. I ship scores of Swissx subscription boxes to England, any crops from Harry and Meghan can be used in those products.”
The boxes sell to British customers for £343 for a six-month supply. Alki will invite Harry and Meghan to his Malibu home on September 18, when he will be hosting a hologram music show.
He said: “I’ll present the Prince Harry seed to them in a special gold box, while we share a pot of Earl Grey and some shortbread.”
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