4/20 was an amazing day to celebrate the cannabis industry at the Bisnow National Cannabis Real Estate Summit in Chicago.
Cannabis Facility Construction‘s Founder and CEO Andrew Poticha was a part of an informative panel discussing “The Business Of Cannabis: An Analysis of The Green Behind the Grass,” a state-by-state compare and contrast on investment, technology, and more!
And, you can listen to the audio recording here:
You can watch a video of the event HERE
Here are a few key insights Andy shared at the event:
“Experience is key. You don’t have to break the bank on the costs to build your facility if you think through the experience that you want your client to have in the space. You can be creative with paint and lighting.”
“As more states become adult use, the security aspect is becoming more like a bank experience where there are guards and there are cameras, but they are discreet and don’t interrupt the client experience.”
“When it comes to green design, such as low carbon footprint, it can be as costly because cannabis facilities are dependent on such large amounts of resources like electricity and water. Where we can make a difference is by using efficient components and resources so that we use less. One of the things that is going to come up is using GMP, good manufacturing practice, which will be important going forward.”
“Our function as designers is to get inside our clients’ heads and articulate for them that which they can’t do themselves by asking the right questions and probing the operations discussions that generate the design. Client experience and operation is critical for not only dispensary but also cultivation. You really need to listen to your cultivation team when it comes to their recommendation on operations and be able to scale up or down depending of your cultivation facility.”
“Soon we may see people in consumption lounges sipping on an infused beverage just like you might enjoy a good Scotch. We should all be thinking about what the experience should be in those spaces, and we simply don’t know the answer to that yet.”
“Keep your eye on HVAC no matter what you are considering in your cultivation facilities. The plant is so sensitive that even one degree of temperature and 1% of humidity variation can affect the quality of the harvest. You have to get your HVAC strategy right, and keep your eye on the final product.”
(From left: Ira Singer, Andy Poticha, Margy Sweeney, Morgan Sweeney, Joe Donnelly, Conah Targett-Jones)
OPINION: Andy Poticha calls on state lawmakers to grant universal extensions to give new cannabis entrepreneurs, who are already under tight deadlines and facing pandemic-related supply chain shortages, more time, flexibility and the certainty to launch their business and leverage high quality resources. Poticha asks the state to make amends for its own delays and treat new cannabis entrepreneurs as the business partners they are, important future generators of significant tax revenue for Illinois and leaders in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis Facility Construction Principal, Andy Poticha, spoke last month at the inaugural Sparklist Summit, hosted by Supercritical. Illinois applicants and cannabis industry stakeholders learned about “Avoiding Common Construction Mistakes as a New Cannabis Licensee.” Listen here to the video.
So you’re planning a new cannabis dispensary – congratulations! Whether this dispensary is your entrepreneurial dream come true or you’ve been down this road before, once you confirm your license, you’ll want to begin building out your location as quickly as possible. Our teams, currently building dispensaries across Illinois and other States, can help steer you through the unique maze that is the cannabis construction process.
Building a new dispensary is not as simple as it sounds. Dispensaries must offer the security of a bank branch, the compliance of a pharmaceutical company, and the aesthetic of a high-end retailer.
As experts in the design-build construction of cannabis facilities, our teams have been in the trenches building dispensaries, cultivation centers and processing labs since 2015, including a national flagship dispensary in Northbrook, currently under construction. We have been involved in more than 30 dispensary, cultivation center and processing lab projects in nine states since 2015. Currently, we are leading renovation projects that offer more than 35,000 new square feet of cannabis cultivation and dispensaries customized for the needs of both medical and recreational cannabis customers.
Here are a few ways you can jump ahead of the curve:
Differentiate the customer experience. Buying cannabis in a regulated dispensary should feel easy, welcoming and natural. Designing for the customer experience, creating welcoming sales environments, while remaining compliant with regulations, is where dispensaries differentiate themselves from the competition. One reason this is so important: with strict supply chain rules in place, many cannabis products are highly commoditized. If your product is a commodity, the customer experience becomes even more important.
Prioritize compliance or suffer the consequences. To maintain product supply and operational retail sales, stick to strict protocols and carefully follow building codes related to the handling, storage and distribution of cannabis throughout the supply chain. In Illinois, building code inspections are unique to each municipality, with enormous differences from one community to another. Be sure your design-build construction partner knows the right questions to ask, and the pitfalls that could come up at each inspection milestone.
Use a design-build approach. Design-build integrates your design and construction teams from the beginning, reducing surprises and streamlining your budget throughout the process of envisioning and construction your dispensary. When your architect and contractor are working together, you’ll find you have more time to focus on running your cannabis business, with less time spent in meetings about your space. In addition, a design-build model allows for a single point of accountability. At CFC, we use our four-step design-build process to ensure alignment and high-touch customer service throughout your project.
Your contractor shouldn’t be learning on the job. Your design-build construction partner should be respected in the industry and be able to speak to ‘tales from the trenches.’ While legalized recreational cannabis may be new to Illinois, there are companies like us that have been building for both medical and recreational cannabis for many years. You should never have to hear ‘let’s learn this together.’
Don’t let the pandemic get you down. As an essential business, construction has been building cannabis facilities throughout the COVID-19 shut-down period and continues today. With the right protocols in place, there’s no reason the construction of your dispensary can’t press forward. To understand more about how our crews stay safe, you can read our National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) blog post from June 2020 on how to expand or renovate your cannabis facility while observing social distancing.
Choose a contractor with experience. For nearly five years, CFC has worked with numerous cannabis companies, including vertically integrated multi-state operators (MSOs). “Partnering with CFC, we have been thoughtful about connecting the design/build process with our customer experience and compliance objectives,” said Mitch Kahn of Greenhouse Cannabis. “Together, we identified and solved potential issues early in the design/build process, so that the build-out is supportive of sales, security, and being good neighbors in our communities.”
Need more resources on the design-build dispensary construction process? Here are a few suggestions:
KNOW BEFORE YOU GROW:
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS:
While cannabis continues to be a fast-paced industry with changes on a daily and weekly basis, it’s no longer brand-new. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a guide who knows the right questions to ask and can keep you from repeating mistakes of the past.
For more information on working with our Cannabis Facility Construction experienced teams, you can request a consultation here and one of our team members will get back to you immediately.