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StaffFebruary 1, 2023
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3min4090

This story was republished with permission from Crain’s New York and written by C.J. Hughes.

Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, landlords who have mortgages with federally chartered banks would seem potentially at risk by having pot stores as tenants, as doing business with a drug dealer, essentially, runs afoul of the law.

But even though federal officials haven’t said outright that they won’t enforce the law, some landlords seem unfazed, as in Greenwich Village, where the city’s second legal dispensary opened on Jan. 24.

“My only concern is: Is marijuana legal? And is the state of New York behind it? And the answer to both of those questions is yes,” said Herman Gans, an owner of 144 Bleecker St., which is home to the new cannabis shop, Smacked Village.

In 2011 Gans and his co-investors borrowed $6.8 million against the 4-story mixed-use building, which cost $4.2 million in 2001, records show. The lender was New York Community Bank, which is based on Long Island and holds $66 billion in loans for properties across the country.

A message left with the bank asking for an explanation of its position on working with landlords with cannabis-selling tenants was not returned by press time.

Cooper Katz, a broker with ABS Partners Real Estate who handled the Smacked Village deal, said it’s his understanding some financial institutions are advising landlords to tread carefully.

“Some of the banks are saying, ‘We’re OK with it,’ and others are not,” said Katz, who was the fifth agent to market 144 Bleecker, a 5,600-square-foot two-level space that had been empty since a Duane Reade closed in 2019. “But it’s definitely a conversation we’re having.”

If some federal lawmakers have their way, those conversations won’t be necessary for much longer. In 2020 the House of Representatives approved the More Act, which would decriminalize cannabis on a national level. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has said he expects his chamber to take up the bill soon.


Debra BorchardtJanuary 31, 2023
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5min5940

Last year, cannabis employee tip jar stories filled the air. In most of these situations, employees were complaining that customers had left money in tip jars that weren’t making their way to the employees. Social media weighed in suggesting the employees weren’t getting a fair wage and cannabis companies should give them raises. Now it seems the data is showing that these employees are making more than their traditional industry counterparts.

Not So Bad

Cannabis employment company Vangst just released its 2022 salary guide that determined cannabis employees actually made more money when compared to mainstream-non-cannabis-industry roles of the same position. “The roles that reportedly pay higher within cannabis are Budtenders (+45.1% when compared to mainstream Bartenders), HR Generalists (+29.8%), and Customer Support Specialists/Agents (+28.3%). 65% of respondents said their cannabis salary is about the same or more than the salary they earned at their last job.”

Best Paid

The employees that can complain about their salaries compared to the mainstream industry are VPs of Manufacturing (-103.4%) VPs of Marketing (-100.5%), and Controllers (-100.1%).  Still, the VP of Manufacturing is one of the highest-paid roles in cannabis with a range of $125-$180k per year. The VP of Retail brings in roughly $140-$200k a year. On the legal side, VP of compliance salary ranges between $130-$180k, the VP of Sales clocks in at $150-$225k  and the General Counsel makes between $150-$225k. The roles with the biggest reported positive change in salaries year-over-year were Brand Managers (+56.9%) and Edible Specialists (+42.1%).

Unfortunately, not everyone did so well as the biggest reported negative changes in salaries year-over-year were Directors of Cultivation (-122.7%) and VPs of Operations (-52.8%).

Diversity Improvements?

Vangst reported it saw an uptick in every racial category except Asian American Pacific Islanders in the 2022 survey results. “The largest percentage jump was in people who identify as Asian (+85%), followed by Hispanic or Latinx (+47%), Indigenous People (+35%), Black Americans (+7%), and then White Americans (+11%). It’s important to note that those large increases are the result of relatively small increases in numbers that were already very small. People who identify as white actually made up a larger percentage of cannabis workers in 2022 than they did in 2021 (72.2% v. 65.1%).”

Sadly, the report said that fewer employees report that their company is “very diverse” while more say that their company is “somewhat diverse.” On a positive note, the number of people who said their company is “strongly lacking diversity” dropped by 3 points. Still, Vangst noted that cannabis companies still have a lot of work to do: 64% of those who responded to our survey say they do not have any Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, working groups, or a diversity council.

Outlook

The outlook from Vangst for 2023 is mostly positive. The report thinks that New York’s focus on social equity applicants will help turn the tide on diversity. The program may be slow to roll out, but the priority placed on diversity could reverberate throughout the industry.

“Our salary guide has been an important resource for hiring managers and job seekers alike for the past five years. While the industry has faced several challenges within the last year, the data provided in this year’s guide points toward a brighter future complete with opportunities for improvement and growth. As in past years, we are confident that this guide will help industry leaders make better-informed decisions about their companies and build a professional, diverse, and engaged workplace as well as guide job seekers to better navigate the cannabis industry,” said Karson Humiston, Founder and CEO of Vangst.


StaffJanuary 24, 2023
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1min4580

22% – How many Maryland flower consumers say Cookies is their favorite brand

When Cookies enters a market, consumers take note. The brand rises to the top of awareness and purchasing quickly. Besides Maryland, Cookies is also at the top of the purchasing funnel in Michigan and Nevada.

Source: Brightfield Group, US Cannabis Product Brand Health, Q3 2022


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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