Winning Strategies for Cannabis Cultivation, Processing and Dispensary Project Development – Crain's Chicago Business

CRAIN’S: What are the biggest missteps you see?

GRAFF: While not exclusive to the cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary industries, timing has been a big issue. From underestimating the time required to properly execute preconstruction to underestimating the amount of time and risk of ground-up development, even industry veterans can lose sight of how much time this stuff can take. Another surprising oversight we see is prospective businesses hesitating when it comes to their real estate development process. A real estate expert should be brought in very early. Also, overdesign of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems is another misstep we commonly see.

What are 2021’s cannabis real estate development trends?

Indoor grow operations have become increasingly common. People are also doing better at employing adaptive reuse strategies of existing structures like former big-box stores and old industrial spaces. There are utility cost savings and some cultivation benefits for greenhouse alternatives, and there are definite downsides in certain geographic locations and climates. We believe a complete analysis that weighs all alternatives is the best practice. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in the cannabis world. Be open-minded, be flexible and focus on your North Star.

What advice do you have for

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