Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Virginia legalized cannabis for adult use in 2021, bringing the total number of states with legalized usage to 18 (plus the District of Columbia) and the number continues to climb. It is estimated the industry will grow into a $100 billion market within the decade. With this trajectory, it’s critical to have a team of experts at-the-ready to scale when and where you need it.
Finding an experienced team can be difficult as the industry changes and evolves, so knowing how to evaluate your design/build team is critical. From our experience in building grow and process facilities as well as retail dispensaries, here are the top three questions to ask when evaluating your real estate, design, and construction partners:
- What experience makes them appropriate for the job? If they haven't worked with cannabis before, do they have transferrable skills in warehouse, retail, data center, bio-pharma, and/or agricultural grow facilities?
- What is their background? Do they understand the technical requirements of a cannabis facility? Do they have an engineering background that may assist the design/build teams to make the facilities scalable and adaptable to new technologies?
- Do they have experience with fast-paced, high-growth companies? Can they scale with you and go wherever you need them to go? Have they worked across different states and have relationships with local permitting offices?
Often a disjointed or inexperienced design/build team can lead to expensive mishaps and unnecessary change orders. The goal is to find a team, from architects to general contractors, who can grow with you, problem solve, and get your business generating revenue quickly.
One of the quickest ways to do this is to hire an owner's rep/project management firm with experience in the cannabis industry to evaluate partners and manage the design and construction of your facilities. Leveraging this experience allows your team to focus on the business needs and gives confidence that your real estate portfolio is ready to scale when you are. An experienced owner's representative and project management team can speak from experience when evaluating construction RFPs, ask the right questions, and ensure resources are allocated properly. In the end, an owner’s rep is there to save your business time, money, and headaches down the line.