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Debra BorchardtAugust 9, 2021


Debra Borchardt, Editor-in-Chief, Green Market Report:

Rob Sechrist is the president of Pelorus Equity Group, a company that you may not be familiar with, but you will soon. This company is a little unique. It’s a mortgage REIT (real estate investment trust), not a traditional REIT. And Rob, why don’t you explain to our audience a little bit about that difference? Because most people are really familiar with their traditional REIT that buys buildings and then takes the lease money and gives that back to the shareholders. This is a little bit different. Can you go into that?

Rob Sechrist, President, and Co-founder of Pelorus Equity Group:  

Sure. Debra, thanks for having me. I’m happy to explain the difference. Most people are unfamiliar that there’s more than one type of REIT that traditional REIT owns properties, like IIPR. A mortgage REIT simply means that that is a lender that’s able to get the same tax advantages of a traditional REIT. Those tax advantages, just to re-clarify are 20% savings on your federal taxes. You only pay state taxes in the state that you’re domiciled.


Your company specifically focuses on the cannabis industry and what you guys do is help cannabis companies that need money to build out their facilities, which can be a really expensive endeavor for a cannabis company. How are you approaching these cannabis companies with this help?


Our background is what we call value-added lending. In our world “value add” means that we are improving the property with a portion of our loan is going back into the property with a pre-approved budget. Typically, it’s going to be tenant improvements. It could be ground-up construction, but this is the largest newly created asset class in the country. We’ve extrapolated the data that it’s about $50 billion real estate asset class that just magically appeared. When that asset class was created by the legislature, in each of these states, those properties actually in order for them to be legal the real estate needs to be approved and that side is one element of it. It has to be built out. It has to be a purpose for cannabis use tenant, and then the tenant, the cannabis use operator must also be approved by the state. Those two elements, once they’re plugged together, that is a legalized property and now you’re on your way and it’s one of the 50 billion.


To your point with cannabis, it isn’t so easy to just go to a bank and get a construction loan. So you’ve put up all this money to buy this building. You’ve spent all this money to get these licenses and these applications approved. A lot of these companies have spent millions just to get to basically square one. That’s really just the first inning of the ball game. They still have to build out these facilities, which is even more money. A lot of times, they’re kind of starting to get tapped out at that point and they can’t just go to a typical bank and say, “Hey, we got to build out this building. We’re a legit company. We’re not doing things that are illegal.” But the banks are just like, “No way.” The major banks want nothing to do with this, right?


The major federal banks are not in the sector. The state banks and credit unions, there are 684 that are doing deposit relations for tier-one plant-touching operators and businesses. And of those banks, there’s probably a few dozen that are actually lending, but the banks are difficult to get loans in general. They certainly are not in the value add lending space at this time. And more importantly is that when you go to build a cannabis facility, typically these properties, the tenants are doing 10 to 15 times more revenue per month than a non-cannabis use tenant. And why I’m giving that and focusing on that is that to be focusing purely on your rate and points for the loan, as opposed to the speed of getting that property up and stabilized is very shortsighted. You want to get your property built as quickly as possible.

Our average borrower takes about 12 months to build and stabilize their property. And we’re typically processing 50 to 100 draws for the borrower to be reimbursed for the expenses that they’ve put out for the pre-approved budget. So for example, if your facility is doing one to $2 million a month or has the ability to do that, and you want to save a couple of percent, and even if it was a 10% difference between our rate and a bank rate, that premium might be a million dollars or $2 million in a year. But if you’re doing one to 2 million a month, that premium is absorbed, if we save them one month. Typically, we’re going to save at least 20% compared to other private lenders best in class and probably six months with a bank. And so it’s a no-brainer once you analyze it.

Unfortunately, the cannabis use borrowers are so focused on brands. They have so many things going on, compliance, inventory, genetics, all the stuff that they’re trying to deal with. A lot of them haven’t worked with a construction loan before, and they have only done their own home mortgage. The only thing they ever knew at that time was the rate and the points. So they’re not aware that you need a high-performance loan and they might get into a loan and realize, “This isn’t even going anywhere. I have to advance the money. I’m not getting reimbursed fast enough.” Usually the project comes to a stop. That is not the situation you want to be in. Plus Pelorus is the first dedicated holistic lender for the cannabis sector back in 2016. And we look at the cannabis use properties as a holistic approach. A bank does not do that.

We want to make sure that we provide all the money that is necessary or make sure that all that is encapsulated in our loan that gets the property acquired, built out with the tenant permits and the equipment to make sure that, that tenant can actually start operating. A bank would not provide all those features to that loan. And so you might have a situation where the tenant doesn’t have the money because the property is not cash flowing yet. And they’re not able to go raise that equity that’s necessary for the equipment to build it out. And this equipment is enormously expensive. Some of the equipment as a whole, for the project might be more than the purchase price of the building. And so if you are trying to go raise that money for equipment for a building you don’t even own, it’s a very difficult challenge. So you want to have a solution that is holistic in the approach. And we were the first to do that.


One of the things that kind of differentiates Pelorus is your rates are quite high, but to your point, you’re getting the money to the client faster, correct?


We offer high-performance loans to achieve what the borrowers looking to do. 100% closing ratio of all the transactions that we’ve ever done. I don’t know if any other lender can say that. More importantly, or just as important as closing is to make sure that the facility gets up and running and built as quickly as possible. And so you need to look at that ratio of what is the pricing savings that you would get with a lower pricing loan as opposed to what is the opportunity revenue that we lost by not penetrating the market and not getting this facility up and running as quickly as possible. So as today, most of the cannabis community knows who we are and knows that this is the place that they want to go to get a facility built.


How much money have you guys raised today?


We’ve deployed more than $185 billion. We’ve got about $60 million going out in the next 30 days or so. So we’ll be to $250 million here in the very near future.


You’re working with some pretty big names. I saw you’re doing a deal with Acreage Holdings (OTC: ACRHF) for a fairly large amount.


We did a deal with Acreage Holdings in the fourth quarter of last year. By the way, they are big enough that they could have gone to an institutional rate. So in that specific scenario, their board came to the realization that they needed to look at the entire cost of the capital, not just the pricing of the loan and they quickly determined in the end that was the direction to go after. Our pricing does shock people, but that’s because you’re buying a high-performance loan and there’s a lot to go into process, an unlimited amount of draws in one to three days. Nobody else can do that. That is so important. And that’s what you need to be focused on. If you want to go and take your time and have the lowest cost, and it really doesn’t matter how long it takes for that facility, then you probably want to start with another lender.


That’s pretty interesting. Now, we’ve seen a lot of situations in Canada with regards to overbuilding. Some of the companies like Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) has shut down some of their indoor facilities. Do you feel that because the United States is so early on in its legalization, that we’re not going to be in that kind of situation, that we have companies that could get overbuilt with regards to facilities?


So two comments there. In Canada, as far as we know, there’s nobody that had built a hundred thousand or a million square foot facilities that were at scale in the entire country and anywhere in the world. So you have people that are trying to scale from zero to a thousand or whatever on the first try and by the time that facility gets built, you realize we didn’t build this correctly, and you have to write that whole facility off. So, they didn’t have a learning curve and they made mistakes up in Canada that I don’t think that you’ll see duplicated. And certainly not to that same extent, that happened up there. One was, is that you really only had a gray market or illegal market operators that were mostly operating outdoors. Some of them might’ve had some indoor greenhouses, but they would have been tens of thousands of feet, not hundreds of thousands or millions of square feet.

When you go to that scale, you have different challenges that you’re trying to deal with. And if you get it wrong, you’ve already built the facility, before you realize we didn’t configure this properly. And it’s actually less expensive to sell this property and to go somewhere else. We started analyzing the sector because we realized that our skills in value add lending were immediately applicable to the sector. We analyzed it and we originated the first transaction in 2016. We only did small transactions to make sure that not only were we learning what the borrowers needed to do, but they were learning as well.

So we scaled with small facilities, 10,000 square feet, 20,000. Now, we do 100,000 square feet and larger, but we worked our way up to understanding the market. Secondly, we also built the first proprietary database where we analyze each of the cannabis operators that are licensed within each state. We identify who they are, what types of licenses they have and we associate what properties they’re in. We look at the average build cost, the average price per square foot of the universe of properties. For each of these types of licenses. So we know the size of the capacity of the market is existing. We also look at some other things with other technology we look at to understand, “Is this market reaching capacity from a production size? Is it oversupplied? Is it under-supplied?”

We’re monitoring all of that stuff. So we’re using data and facts to analyze this. Typically in most lending sectors of the country, there would be a hedge fund, or there would be a third party doing this and spending millions of dollars to analyze this. Well, we needed that data. So we had to make the investment ourselves and so today we have a very robust, what we call the big data project that we pull all that data and extrapolate it to help us make our decisions.


I was wondering with regards to risks, so risks for your investors. In this situation, you’re lending money to these companies to build out their facilities. What is the risk that they potentially aren’t able to complete that facility, whether they’ve run into other problems elsewhere? Certainly, it’s the cannabis industry. We’ve seen lots of situations blow up pretty quickly. Are you, or have you seen anything like this, and have you seen other companies willing to then jump in and take over? What is your situation with that?


We’ve originated more than 5,000 of these types of transactions. Whether you’re a cannabis company building a facility or somebody else building a facility, that’s an issue that we have to de-risk or look at. The way that we start is we first start with a feasibility review of the budget to make sure that, that budget is sufficient, regardless of who the contractor is. If we had to replace the contractor, that there’s sufficient capital, and it’s also reviewed to make sure the water’s there, the permits are in place, the electricity has ample to supply that for what we’re building, etc. We take that budget and we run it through our data to make sure that it’s sufficient, no matter who we use for the budget, that there’s enough capital. Then we build a contingency as well, just in case there are some overruns.

We start with that aspect and then as we are going through that project, actually the borrower has to advance the money first. Then we go and verify that the invoices have been paid. We get proof of payment. We get lien releases from the contractors to make sure that they can’t lien the project. Once all that’s been reviewed and completed, then we do a physical inspection to verify that those went into our property and you get a percentage of completion. So we’ve de-risked that and we’re prepared to fund that project and complete that project, whether it’s with our borrower, that contractor, or if we take it ourselves. So that’s on the property side. As far as the tenant or operator side, we also analyze to make sure that we’ve got a path through to replace that tenant ourselves, if necessary, if the borrower failed and if the tenant failed.

We have the ability to complete the building and we have the ability to replace the tenant. As far as our portfolio, we haven’t seen a situation where the tenant has not been able to be replaced. We don’t have any transactions that we’ve had to replace the tenant yet. We do have one of our borrowers that replaced another facility next door, not ours, but they did it in 90 days. We use that as a case study to make sure that what we’re thinking is as possible and what the timelines are. And once these facilities are built out, they have the power, the water, the infrastructure, the general configuration, isn’t going to change that much. Most of our facilities start with indoor cultivation, and then they might have some processing or some extraction, and some other things in there.

Once you’ve got kind of that layout, different operators reconfigure within those rooms, but the general gist of it, it’s going to be the same. Commercial properties are a lot easier to reposition walls and things than in residential houses where everything’s load-bearing. So it’s a different situation.


Absolutely. So what are the plans for Pelorus for the rest of the year? Are you guys going to continue to raise money? I would assume keep lending.


We’re scaling the company. We continue to add to our team. We just opened a New York office to get a presence on the East Coast. Our goal is to get to a billion dollars assets under management. Our investments in the company, from our team and our people that we work with are positioned on that on growth and to maintaining our position as the number one value add lender and the first and the most experienced in the sector.


Well, there will certainly be a lot of activity happening in the Northeast, now that all the legalization is happening in New Jersey, in New York. Rob, thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy day to talk to Green Market Report.

Sechrist:                                       Thank you so much.


Kaitlin DomangueJuly 29, 2021


Smoking cigarettes indoors has been shown to reduce a home’s resale value by up to 29%, says When it comes to buying a cannabis enthusiast’s home, the resale value research is less clear, though 30% of realtors say they have struggled to sell a house where cannabis was grown. A recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors said 50% of leasing professionals found it wasn’t hard to re-lease a property after tenants smoked cannabis indoors, and the organization “does not have a position on cannabis legalization.”

Legal cannabis raises home value

There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding cannabis and the real estate market. But, what kind of impact do cannabis operations have on property value by simply just existing in the same town or city as your house? According to research by real estate data company, Clever, property values rose by $17,113 more in states where recreational cannabis is legal, compared to states where it’s illegal or just legal at the medicinal level. Not to mention, millions of dollars in tax revenue created. In 2021, average home values increase by $470 for every $1 million increase in overall tax revenue from cannabis. 

Clever combined data from Zillow, the U.S. Census, and other resources to produce their report. 

New businesses, tourism, and jobs all contribute to the increase

When it comes to answering the “why”, that’s a little more complex. According to Clever, there’s a variety of reasons why property values are increasing as cannabis legalization takes place. “Numerous factors determine home values, including the home’s features and condition, the area’s amenities, and local crime rates. Legalizing marijuana can impact each of these criteria in ways that are both predictable and surprising — particularly by creating fresh demand for housing, new businesses, and tourism,” says the report. 

We often look to Colorado as a model representing cannabis’ potential in different states. Legalization brought Colorado a wave of new business, and the crime rate also dropped. Also, hotel revenue rose by $130 million in the first year after Colorado legalized, according to a study conducted by Penn State

Key Findings

  • Home values increased by $6,338 from 2017 to 2019 in states where cannabis is legal in some form, compared to states that haven’t legalized at all
  • On average, home values increase by $470 for every $1 million increase in tax revenue
    • Eight states reported a full year of tax revenue generated from cannabis sales in 2020, totaling $2.3. $1 billion of that being California sales alone. 
    • The seven states (plus D.C.) who haven’t yet sold a year’s worth of legal cannabis are predicted to collect $601 million in new annual tax revenue.
  • Home values are predicted to increase by an average of $61,343 in states that have legalized recreational cannabis, but sales aren’t yet taking place.  
    • California has seen the biggest increase in home values, up by $128,341 since 2017, among states that have legalized at the recreational level
  • Cities with more dispensaries are positively correlated with higher home values, suggesting legalization boosts jobs and economic growth.
    • In cities with recreational dispensaries, home values increased by $22,090, compared to states where recreational cannabis is legal but not yet being sold in retail locations
    • Property values increase by $519 with each new dispensary a city adds

According to Clever’s future predictions, home values will increase by more than $60,000 on average.

Looking at tax revenue

When it comes to tax revenue, where does it all go? Different states allocate their tax revenue towards different things, but according to a report by Urban Institute, education programs (including community colleges and pre-K schools) are the most likely to benefit. 

Oregon, for example, donates 40% of its tax revenue to the state’s school fund, accumulating $180,252,103 between 2017 and 2021. Arizona recently legalized cannabis for recreational consumption, and they plan to follow suit by donating 33% of their tax revenue to the state’s community colleges. 

Other states use their tax revenue for different things, like Washington, where the tax revenue goes towards a healthcare trust account to provide basic healthcare services to people without insurance. Ranked from most to least common, here’s how different states use their cannabis tax revenue: 

  • Education programs
  • Substance abuse education and treatment programs
  • Reparations for those negatively affected by the War on Drugs/criminal justice reform
  • General funds
  • Transfers to local governments
  • Administrative costs of initiating new laws
  • Public health and safety programs
  • Law enforcement, crime reduction, and fire departments
  • Transportation and infrastructure
  • Programs for conservation
  • Programs for veterans

Cannabis’ impact on local communities

This is just another piece of evidence supporting cannabis’ positive impact on local and state economies. According to Leafly, the legal cannabis industry supports 321,000 full-time jobs across the United States, adding 77,300 of those last year. Not to mention the tax revenue generated from legal cannabis sales. Criminal justice reform, education, substance abuse treatment, and local governments all benefit from the new source of revenue. 

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, we see it positively affects more than just consumers. 

StaffJuly 12, 2021


This article by Nadja Sayej was originally published on and is being republished with permission.

On March 31, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would legalize medical and adult-use cannabis in the coming year. According to Cuomo, it’ll create over $350 million in revenue, and at least 30,000 jobs.

“This is a historic day in New York, one that rights the wrongs of the past by putting an end to harsh prison sentences,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “It embraces an industry that will grow the Empire State’s economy and prioritizes marginalized communities so those that have suffered the most will be the first to reap the benefits.”

New York is just one of 17 states across the country legalizing cannabis. In the coming months, marijuana plant-related businesses are going to be popping up all over the east coast, now that New York, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts have legalized cannabis, among other states with limited capacity (like Pennsylvania).

A cannabis real estate boom is likely to follow. The global legal cannabis industry is predicted to hit $40.6 billion in global spending by 2024, which will be a 300% increase from 2019, according to a report from Arcview Market Research & BDS Analytics.

But what exactly does this mean for commercial cannabis real estate?

The industry consensus is that it’s tough to get a cannabis business going; whether it’s getting a license or getting a location. Though the dispensary boom is all over, it will likely flock to touristic towns like Great Barrington, MA, known as a skiing town, which now has five cannabis dispensaries in a town of 7,000.

With cannabis coming to the states of New Jersey and New York, the market is expected to grow for adult-use cannabis starting this year in NJ, and on April 1, 2022 in New York.

“There is a lot of demand and not a lot of supply,” Brian Lauray from MMLG consultants recently said. “It will come down to the operators that have the money and can tweak many levers.”

Just look at Pennsylvania, a medical-only cannabis state (it isn’t legal for non-medical, recreational adult-use). Even still, they’ve seen their medical cannabis sales grow from $40 million in January 2020 to $98 million in January 2021, according to a report from Headset. Is this a sign of the cannabis real estate boom to come for other states?

“The short answer is yes,” said Akiva Gottlieb, a commercial broker at Lev Capital in New York City. “We will see top brands fit in nicely for trendy areas in New York City, Jersey Shore and Hoboken, and be picked up quickly by hippie-type areas. Just nowhere near private schools and corporate industries.”

Gottlieb explained that the country’s cannabis experts are well aware of the market oversaturation in the west and Midwest, from California to Colorado. Cannabis businesses will likely move to, or expand in, the east coast.

“Experts predict that your common shops like 7/11 and the likes will carry some sort of medical or recreational cannabis products,” Gottlieb said.

Cannabis financing is a key step to securing a property to address the hot cannabis real estate world. Gottlieb drew a parallel between the black market to the legalization of products over time. Take the prohibition era, where the 18th amendment banned the sale of alcohol, and now in 2021, where the sale of alcoholic drinks has already turned over $254,564 million, according to a report from Statistica, and is expected to grow roughly 6% before 2025.

The cannabis industry could see the same turnover, eventually. Cannabis real estate isn’t just dispensary retail, but where the product is grown, harvested, stored, sold, and consumed, all within state lines. Commercial real estate is in demand, not only for storefronts but warehouses and other types of related land.

“Previously determined ‘safe’ and ‘secure’ asset classes, like retail and multifamily are now considered volatile,” Gottlieb said. “We have seen a major shift in large institutional investment corps who were forced to pivot their core businesses toward alternative products.”

Could it be pandemic-proof? He explained that medical-use cannabis has been deemed an essential business during the pandemic in many states.

“With the likes of Target, Walmart, Burger King, and Starbucks closed, your local dispensary has been open servicing the community and racking up their revenue,” Gottlieb said. “And to our landlords, most importantly, they are paying their rent.”

To say the industry is growing is an understatement.

“As a commercial financing advisory firm, we come across numerous transactions that include some form of a cannabis element to it,” he claimed. “Ranging from a minority tenant in a strip mall to a triple net (NNN) lease on an industrial cultivation facility, cannabis is everywhere right now.”

Real estate firms like Lev are “approaching these deals just like we would any standard commercial asset,” Gottlieb said.

The future of cannabis in commercial real estate comes down to financing.

“As the industry develops more, more states will pass the Safe Banking Acts, which means that state-authorized marijuana businesses will have easier access to banking services,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb predicted that, by spring of 2022, many mainstream corporate and national banks will be on board with financing, “and will allocate significant capital under their balance sheet to this particular market.”

Here’s one step forward: Many real estate firms are adding a Cannabis Real Estate Division, like Lev has, to their websites. Just look at James Capital Advisors, which recently started a new Cannabis Real Estate Division in Los Angeles. With this sort of example, many other real estate companies who specialize in commercial real estate are likely to follow.

“The industry follows the cash flow, and the cash flow is overwhelmingly available in the cannabis industry,” Gottlieb said. “Especially in debt with firms like Lev, the people need assistance financing these unique properties and the brokers of our new modern world will fill that void.”


StaffJuly 7, 2021


Following the close of the market on Tuesday, cannabis REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP) (NYSE: IIPR) posted its operating, investment, and capital markets activity from April 1, 2021, through today. The company’s first quarter ended in March, but since that time IIP has been very active.

IIP said that from April 1, 2021, through Tuesday, it has made four acquisitions for properties located in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and executed three lease amendments to provide additional tenant improvements at properties located in Florida and Pennsylvania. In these transactions, IIP said it established new tenant relationships with Sozo Companies, Inc. and Temescal Wellness of Massachusetts, LLC, while expanding existing relationships with Green Peak Industries LLC (Skymint), Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., Jushi Holdings Inc., and Parallel.

In addition, on June 25, 2021, IIP said it closed on a construction loan with a developer for the construction of a regulated cannabis cultivation and processing facility in California. IIP said it is expected to lend up to $18.5 million to the developer for the construction of an approximately 102,000 square foot building. Following completion of development of the property, IIP said it has an option to purchase the property and may execute a negotiated lease with an affiliate of the developer or with another third party if IIP determines to exercise its purchase option.

Capital Markets Activity

On May 25, 2021, IIP issued a $300 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes. The sale of the notes generated net proceeds of approximately $293 million, after deducting the initial purchaser’s discounts and commissions and offering expenses. The notes bear interest at 5.50% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on May 15 and November 15 of each year, until the maturity date of May 25, 2026. IIP said it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to invest in specialized industrial real estate assets that support the regulated cannabis industry that is consistent with its investment strategy, and for general corporate purposes.


As of July 6, 2021, IIP owns 72 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, representing a total of approximately 6.6 million rentable square feet (including approximately 2.2 million rentable square feet under development/redevelopment), which were 100% leased with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 16.7 years.

As of July 6, 2021, IIP had invested an aggregate of approximately $1.6 billion (consisting of the purchase price and development and tenant reimbursement commitments funded, but excluding transaction costs) and had committed an additional approximately $347.8 million to reimburse certain tenants and sellers for completion of construction and tenant improvements at IIP’s properties, which does not include an $18.5 million loan from IIP to a developer for construction of a regulated cannabis cultivation and processing facility in California.


Debra BorchardtJune 24, 2021


Commercial real estate finance company AFC Gamma, Inc.  (Nasdaq: AFCG) priced its underwritten public offering of 2,750,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $20.50 per share. AFC Gamma has granted the underwriters of the Offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 412,500 shares of common stock. AFC provides loans to operators in the cannabis industry.

AFC Gamma anticipates total gross proceeds of approximately $56.4 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses and excluding any exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. AFC Gamma said it intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to fund loans related to unfunded commitments to its existing borrowers, to originate and participate in commercial loans to companies operating in the cannabis industry that are consistent with its investment strategy, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes. The Offering is expected to close on or about June 28, 2021.

In May the company delivered its first fiscal quarter 2021 earnings with net income of $1.4 million, or earnings of $0.20 per basic weighted average share of common stock. Distributable earnings in Q1 2021 of $3.2 million, or $0.45 per basic weighted average share of common stock. Ending Q1 2021 net book value per common share of $16.18

AFC Portfolio

As of June 15, 2021, AFC’s portfolio was comprised of loans to 13 different borrowers, totaling approximately $158.6 million in total principal amount, with approximately $29.5 million in additional unfunded loan commitments to such borrowers. As of June 15, 2021, the loan portfolio had a weighted-average estimated YTM of approximately 21% and was secured by real estate, cash flows, and licenses. AFC said it reviewed 319 loan opportunities. As of June 15, 2021, it had funded 17 loans, of which three have been repaid, had entered into non-binding term sheets for three loans, had entered into a syndication commitment letter for one loan, and were evaluating 55 other loans.

The list of company loans as per the company’s filings are as follows:

Public Company A
Single-state cultivator, producer, and full-service brand fulfillment partner that produces a wide range of products in the Nevada market. Public Company A operates a +/- 400,000 square foot greenhouse and 55,000 square foot processing and custom packaging facility, which is capable of producing 140,000 pounds of dry flower per year. The real estate collateral of Public Company A consists of a greenhouse and processing facility in Nevada.
Private Company A
Multi-state operator with operations in six states. Private Company A is a vertically integrated cultivator and retailer of both medical and adult-use cannabis that primarily operates under its own brand. Private Company A’s business segments include cultivation, extraction and processing, retail products, and dispensaries. The real estate collateral of Private Company A consists of three cultivation facilities across Arizona and Michigan and ten dispensaries across Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan.
Private Company B
Single-state operator currently constructing an indoor cultivation facility to wholesale product to the medical and adult use markets in Michigan. Private Company B produces high-end cannabis strains and intends to focus on the high-end, top-tier cannabis niche. The management team has over 20 years’ experience in the cannabis industry, including ten years in Michigan. The real estate collateral for Private Company B consists of a cultivation facility in Michigan.
Private Company C
Single-state vertically integrated cultivator and retailer of medical cannabis. Private Company C operates under a Chapter 20 Clinical Registrant license and has partnered to collaborate on multifaceted studies to substantiate safety and positive therapeutic outcomes. Private Company C currently operates a cultivation facility and three dispensaries with the ability to add three additional dispensary locations. The real estate collateral of Private Company C consists of a cultivation facility and dispensary in Pennsylvania.
Subsidiary of Public Company D
Public Company D participates in the medical and adult-use market across Canada and in several US states where cannabis has been legalized for therapeutic or adult use. Subsidiary of Public Company D, is a premier medical marijuana cultivator, processor, and distributor in Pennsylvania. Public Company D also has operators in California and New Jersey. The real estate collateral for Subsidiary of Public Company D consists of a cultivation facility in Pennsylvania.
Private Company D
Multi-state operator who operates five dispensaries, the maximum amount of dispensaries allowed by law for any operator, in the State of Ohio and one dispensary in Arkansas. Private Company D historical focus has been dispensary operations and has licenses in other states, where it also operates dispensaries. The real estate collateral for Private Company D consists of three dispensaries across Ohio and Arkansas.
Private Company E
Single-state operator who operates one dispensary and is currently constructing an indoor cultivation facility to wholesale product for medical use in Ohio. Private Company E approaches the medical cannabis market from the healthcare and scientific perspectives of its founders and key executives, differentiating it in the industry. The real estate collateral for Private Company E consists of a cultivation and processing facility and a dispensary in Ohio.
Private Company F
Single-state operator currently constructing a cultivation/manufacturing facility and two dispensaries in Missouri and will lease two additional dispensary locations for a total of four dispensaries in the state. Private Company F’s management team has extensive experience operating retail operations in other states. The real estate collateral for Private Company F consists of a cultivation/manufacturing facility and two dispensaries in Missouri.
Public Company E
Multi-state operator with operations in four states. Public Company E is a vertically integrated cultivator and retailer in both Florida and Texas with cultivation in Michigan and retail operations in Pennsylvania. Public Company E’s Florida operations consist of two cultivation and processing locations as well as 23 dispensaries across the state. The real estate collateral for Public Company E consists of a cultivation facility in Michigan.
Subsidiary of Private Company G
Private Company G is a multi-state operator with assets across nine states. Subsidiary of Private Company G operates in New Jersey as an alternative treatment center which allows for one cultivation facility and three dispensary operations, all of which are being constructed using the proceeds of the loan to Subsidiary of Private Company G. The real estate collateral for Subsidiary of Private Company G consists of a cultivation facility and dispensary operation in New Jersey.
Subsidiary of Private Company H
Private Company H is a multi-state operator with assets in Arkansas, Florida, Maryland and Illinois. Subsidiary of Private Company H is a single-state operator that is currently expanding their cultivation facility in Illinois, which is licensed to grow both recreational and medical use cannabis. Subsidiary of Private Company H also operates two additional dispensaries in the state, one licensed to sell medical-use cannabis and the other licensed to sell both recreational and medical use cannabis. The real estate collateral for Subsidiary of Private Company H consists of a cultivation facility in Illinois.
Public Company F
Public Company F is an Illinois-based multi-state operator with approximately 75 retail locations across 14 states and has expanded via an aggressive M&A strategy. The real estate collateral for Public Company F consists of five cultivation facilities across Illinois, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Massachusetts and eight dispensaries across Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Arkansas, Ohio, Nevada, Florida, and Arizona.
Private Company I
Private Company I is a Maryland-based single-state operator with an existing cultivation and processing operation in the state, as well as one operational dispensary.

Company Funding

Leonard M. Tannenbaum, who also serves as the Chief Executive Officer, invested approximately $47.8 million in AFC in August 2020.  The investment resulted in the Sponsor, directly and indirectly, acquiring approximately 3,342,500 shares of common stock, or approximately 20.7% of our common stock upon completion of this offering (or approximately 20.2% if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full). Additionally, Gamma Lending Holdco LLC, which is a fund controlled by Jonathan Kalikow, the Head of Real Estate, one of AFC’s directors and an affiliate of the Manager, and his father, invested approximately $9.6 million in cash in AFC in August 2020. The Sponsor, through AFC Finance, LLC, an entity wholly-owned by the Sponsor and Mr. Kalikow, has also provided us a $50.0 million secured revolving credit facility (as amended, restated, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time, the “Revolving Credit Facility”).

Debra BorchardtApril 12, 2021


Real estate is one of the more difficult aspects of the cannabis industry. Securing a license is tough but getting your location is even tougher. Each state has different regulations and restrictions, which combined with unique real estate markets makes finding and securing property essential. It’s an expensive endeavor and one in which traditional mortgages aren’t typically an option. 

This presentation will focus on the New England and New York area cannabis real estate markets. It will cover the following states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 

Many of the states that have gone fully legal – meaning legalized both medical use and adult-use cannabis often have opt-out clauses for municipalities. This means that in some areas if a town or village decides against allowing cannabis stores or facilities in its location, that puts even more demand for locations in the municipalities that approve cannabis businesses. 

Growth in the Northeast

The Northeast cannabis industry has been expanding at a blistering pace. In 2018, there were only 187 dispensaries across nine states. Fast forward to March 2021 and you see the number has jumped to 424. Of this 424, only Massachusetts and Maine have adult-use products for the sale, the rest are entirely medical marijuana. These numbers are expected to jump even higher as states like New Jersey and New York go fully legal. “It plays out in typically New England ways – Maine has been really friendly, Portland was very competitive,” said MMLG Managing Director Brian Lauvray. 


Dispensary/Retailers 2018-YTD 2021
State 2018 2019 2020 3/2021
CT 18 18 18 18
MA 65 98 161 206
ME 8 8 20 23
NH 4 5 5 5
NJ 6 8 13 14
NY 30 38 38 38
PA 47 76 104 110
RI 3 3 3 3
VT 6 6 7 7
Total 187 260 369 424
Copyright © 2021 by CNB Media LLC dba Cannabiz Media
Source: Cannabiz Media License Database


One area in Massachusetts that saw a dispensary boom is Great Barrington. This lovely town in the heart of the Berkshire mountains is a center for tourism. Skiing in the winter, plus hiking, biking and camping in the summer. There’s a bustling summer performance calendar as well that brings lots of baby boomers up to watch dance and theatre groups. It’s the perfect place to locate a dispensary and the town initially opened its doors. 

That sparked a flood of dispensaries and now the town, despite having no cap on stores is saying they have enough, thank you. The population has less than 7,000 people but 5 dispensaries. Springfield in the middle of the state has attracted several stores and then Boston and its surrounding suburbs has numerous dispensaries, but there are big pockets of the state where there are zero dispensaries. Mostly due to the lack of a major highway or tourist center.

Capitalizing on the Asset

Cannabis companies continue to struggle with getting big mortgages for buildings. They continue to use the capital raised in order to fund a store or facility purchase. The later, the company can sell the property to a REIT or real estate investment trust and then lease it back. Innovative Industrial Properties or IIP is a popular REIT that has done this so often, that it is the leader in the space. 

Let’s look at Massachusetts again. Almost every big player in the space has sold a property to IIP. (The investment figure is in thousands and the data is from the IIP 2020 annual report.)


Rentable Sq. Ft Investment
PharmaCann MA Massachusetts May 31, 2018 58,000 30,500
Holistic MA Massachusetts July 12, 2018 55,000 14,750
Trulieve MA Massachusetts July 26, 2019 150,000 43,500
Ascend MA Massachusetts April 2, 2020 199,000 33,775
Cresco MA Massachusetts June 30, 2020 118,000 8,904
4Front MA Massachusetts December 17, 2020 67,000 15,500

In 2020, IIP closed on the acquisition of a property in Massachusetts, which was approximately 118,000 square feet of industrial space in the aggregate. The purchase price for the property was approximately $7.8 million (excluding transaction costs). IIP also entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement for the property with a wholly owned subsidiary of Cresco Labs Inc. (Cresco), which intends to operate the property as a regulated cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing facility upon completion of redevelopment. Cresco is expected to complete additional tenant improvements for the property, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to $21.0 million. Assuming full reimbursement for the tenant improvements, IIP’s total investment in the property will be approximately $28.8 million.(Data from IIP’s annual 2020 report)

Going back a couple of years in 2018, closed on the acquisition of a property located at 96 Palmer Road in Monson, Massachusetts, which comprises approximately 55,000 square feet of industrial space situated on approximately 5.4 acres. The purchase price for the property was $12.75 million. Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, the Company entered into a long-term, triple-net lease agreement with Holistic Industries, Inc. (“Holistic”), which intends to continue to operate the property as medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility in accordance with Massachusetts medical-use cannabis regulations. 

Newcomers – New Jersey & New York

Massachusetts looks like an old-timer compared to the soon-to-be fully legal states of New Jersey & New York. Both markets are expected to be sizable and both are only legal for medical marijuana at this time. Both have recently decided to legalize adult-use cannabis and New Jersey could begin sales in 2021, while New York will begin sales on April 1 2022. Both states are also famous for expensive real estate. 

Any new entrant to the market is best served by hiring a consultant that knows the ins and outs of navigating the red tape that comes with cannabis. The competition for licenses will be fierce. Brian Lauray from MMLG consultants said, “New York & New Jersey will be a battle royale from an application standpoint. Borough commissioners and aldermen and who you know.” Plus, both states allow municipalities to opt out of the cannabis industry. “In New Jersey, a few desirable municipalities have indicated they are open for business – like Jersey City,” said Lauvray. “It’s a really interesting market – everyone wants in. But there is a lot of demand and not a lot of supply. It will come down to the operators that have the money and can tweak many levers” 

IIP has also been busy in the New York market buying properties despite the relatively small size of the number of stores and facilities. New York is a limited license state that only gave 10 operators the opportunity to be in the industry. That will change with full legalization, but those 10 operators have all struggled with the medical-only nature of the state. It had a very restricted list of conditions in order to get the license and sales have been dismal versus the amount of money invested. So it was no surprise to see some companies selling off real estate to IIP in order to get some cash in the kitty.  

IIP said in a securities filing that in December 2019, one of its properties in New York accounted for 6% of our net real estate held for investment. In December 2020, the company said it amended its lease and entered into a development agreement with PharmaCann at one of our New York properties, making available $31.0 million in construction funding at the property. “Assuming full payment of the construction funding, our total investment in the property will be $61.0 million. As of December 31, 2020, we incurred approximately $70,000 of the construction costs, of which none was funded.”


Rentable Sq. Ft Investment
Curaleaf NJ   New Jersey July 13, 2020 111,000 18,940
Columbia Care NJ Portfolio   New Jersey July 16, 2020 54,000 13,033
PharmaCann NY   New York December 19, 2016 127,000 30,000
Vireo NY   New York October 23, 2017 40,000 6,717

In New Jersey, the Columbia Care parcel is actually two properties and IIP said that Columbia Care was expected to redevelop one of the properties and IIP would reimburse them $1.6 million. Curaleaf was redeveloping its building with a reimbursement of up to $29.5. IIP said  $20 million was spent on redevelopment costs and IIP funded $13.4 million of that. Both New Jersey and New York give cannabis companies the best of both worlds. Each state has urban dense population locations and then long-term agricultural areas. In upstate New York, much of this agricultural land is economically depressed as well and welcomes large-scale grow facilities despite the smell and light pollution. 


Pennsylvania is a medical-only state at this time, although there seems to be incredible pressure on the state to go fully legal as its neighbors New York and New Jersey. In the last 12 months, Pennsylvania medical cannabis sales totaled $910 million. Medical cannabis sales have grown steadily in the past 13 months, starting at $40M in January 2020 and ending at close to $98M in January 2021. The state’s stores have grown from 47 in 2018 to 110 in 2021 for just a medical market. The size of the spaces is growing as well. While Canadian companies may have overbuilt facilities, Pennsylvania operators are clamoring for more. In December Ayr Strategies closed on the purchase of CannTech PA for $57 million. This acquisition included a 143,000 sq. ft. cultivation and processing facility on 13 acres.


Rentable Sq. Ft Investment
Jushi PA Pennsylvania April 6, 2018 89,000 13,381
Maitri PA Pennsylvania April 24, 2019 51,000 21,402
Green Leaf PA Pennsylvania May 20, 2019 266,000 13,592
PharmaCann PA Pennsylvania August 9, 2019 54,000 25,730
GTI PA Pennsylvania November 12, 2019 148,000 39,600
Curaleaf PA Pennsylvania December 20, 2019 72,000 25,749
Holistic PA Pennsylvania June 10, 2020 108,000 15,007

Parallel is working to set up a 120,000-square-foot grow facility in a space owned by The Buncher Co. in the Chateau neighborhood of the North Side, working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh through its venture called Goodblends PA. The company said that the venture needed a big building for a range of uses that will include growing and processing medical cannabis products, conducting research, training employees as well as meeting basic distribution and warehousing demands. A fully legal state could see an additional boost in real estate. At this time, Pennsylvania is IIP’s second-largest market for a property with rents accounting for 15.7% of rental revenue. Seven properties with 788,000 rentable square feet bring in $18.3 million a year (as of December 2020). 


An example of the effect on a fully legal state can be seen in the recent increase in stores in Maine, which jumped from 8 in 2019 to 23 in 2021. Propco., a subsidiary of New York-based real estate investment trust Power REIT acquired a three-acre property in York County, Maine. The sales price was $400,000. That property currently houses an under-construction, 32,800-square-foot cannabis cultivation facility. It also has a 2,800 square foot processing/distribution building with construction recently completed. PropCo. Said it will fund the construction of an additional 9,900 square feet of processing space and the renovation of an existing 2,738 square foot building at the recently acquired property. The completion of construction on the new property is targeted for Summer 2021.

The combined properties are expected to be one of the largest cannabis greenhouse cultivation and processing/distribution properties in the state of Maine upon completion. David Lesser, Power REIT’s Chairman and CEO said that it’s not easy to raise capital for large-size facilities despite all the talk. He also noted this his REIT is focused on greenhouse cultivation facilities. 


The remaining states are relatively smaller parts of the real estate story in the Northeast. Connecticut has four producers that account for 18 dispensaries and facilities. Vermont has seven, New Hampshire has five and Rhode Island has three. This week a bill to legalize marijuana in Connecticut was approved by a key committee on Tuesday—but it “remains a work in progress,” the chairman said. The legislation is said to be backed by the governor and includes a series of new social equity provisions. A week ago, Marijuana Moment reported a pair of Rhode Island Senate committees held a joint hearing on two marijuana legalization proposals—including one proposed by the governor—as well as several bills to reform the state’s existing medical cannabis program. In late 2020, Vermont’s governor allowed a legalization law to take effect without his signature. However, it may be some time before actual legal sales can begin as decisions around licensing have yet to be decided. 


Ultimately, the real estate side of cannabis seems to be a solid choice. Lesser said that so far in cannabis if tenants have trouble making the rent, it often gets worked out. Either new investors come in or the company is acquired, but the situation is typically resolved. IIP has noted that its rents are on time as well. In October 2019, a court-appointed a receiver of the tenant at its Los Angeles, California property. That tenant subsequently defaulted on its lease payments to us for all of 2020. It had been leased to Vertical in southern California, in which Vertical made partial payments of contractual rent due.

The purchase price for the southern California portfolio was approximately $17.3 million.  Then Holistic the cannabis operations from the tenant, which had been in receivership. Holistic closed on this transaction and then quickly executed a long-term, triple-net lease with IIP for the entire property. Assuming full reimbursement for the redevelopment of the property, IIP’s total investment in the property will be $24.0 million. The company did say that for some or all of 2021, it expected that many of its tenants would continue to incur losses as their expenses increase in connection with the expansion of their operations and that they have made and will continue to make rent payments to us from proceeds from the sale of the applicable property or cash on hand, and not funds from operations.IIP says it has not provided deferrals of any rent obligations to any tenant since July 1, 2020.

In Closing

The New England market holds a great deal of promise for the cannabis industry. The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in traditional retail for many of these economies. Lockdowns caused a spike in online shopping causing many brick & mortar retailers to close up, presenting opportunities for dispensaries. While rural land values have risen as remote working created an opportunity for urban dwellers to relocate to more rural settings. Once depressed towns have seen new life, so the days of cheap big acreage in remote locations have declined. It’s still relatively early in this cycle for cannabis industries and the picture is sure to change as rules regulations get decided and then perhaps tweaked again. 

Debra BorchardtDecember 23, 2020


GrowGeneration Corp . (NASDAQ: GRWG) can’t seem to stop growing and said it is buying Southern California -based Canopy Crop Management and its complete portfolio of products, including the Power SI brand of silicic acid-enriched fertilizers. The company did not disclose how much it paid for Canopy Crop. It is the second acquisition in Southern California this month and the third acquisition in the state since November.

Canopy Crop Management was founded in 2019 and is recognized as the industry’s leading silicic acid company. Power SI will continue to be sold through Canopy Crop Management to all hydroponic retail stores including Grow Generation’s 39 locations.

“Private label expansion has become a strategic priority for GrowGen, and a key component of our long-term revenue generation plan,” said Michael Salaman , GrowGen’s President and Co-Founder. “We are proud to bring Canopy Crop Management and its founder Rex Gill under our umbrella. Rex brings his unique technologies and proprietary products to GrowGen and will be instrumental in leading private label product development within the nutrient and additive space.”

GrowGen’s Growth

Since 2014, GrowGen has acquired 34 stores and opened 16 new stores. The company has identified Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Missouri as new markets where it plans to open new operations.  On August 10, 2020 it acquired the assets of Benzakry Family Corp, d/b/a Emerald City Garden, in Concord, Ca. On October 12, 2020, the company acquired the assets of Hydroponics Depot, LLC, a single store located in Phoenix, Arizona. On October 20, 2020, the company acquired the assets of Big Green Tomato, a two-store chain in Battle Creek and Taylor, Michigan. On November 17, 2020, the company acquired the assets of The GrowBiz, which we believe is the third-largest chain of hydroponic garden centers in the United States, with four stores in California and one store in Oregon. In connection with the GrowBiz acquisition, Ross Haley, the founder of The GrowBiz and the former CEO of Hawthorne Gardening Company, a Division of Scott’s Miracle-Gro, joined the Company as a senior strategic advisor.

“I started Canopy Crop Management with the goal of providing the highest-quality formulations, and I’m fortunate to find a partner like GrowGen, one of the most trusted names in hydroponic and organic gardening,” said Gill, Canopy Crop Management’s CEO. “I look forward to creating new and innovative silicic acid formulas and organic pesticides and fungicides that are much more cost-effective than what is currently on the market.”


Debra BorchardtNovember 4, 2020


Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP)(NYSE: IIPR) reported total revenues of approximately $34.3 million for the third quarter ending September 30, 2020. This was a 197% increase from the prior year’s third quarter. It also beat the Yahoo Finance average analyst estimate for revenue of $29.63 million. The stock rose over 8% ahead of the company’s earnings to lately trade at $133.

IIP recorded net income available to common stockholders of approximately $18.9 million for the quarter, or $0.86 per diluted share, which beat the Yahoo Finance estimate for $0.78. The adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) were approximately $27.9 million, or $1.28 per diluted share. Net income available to common stockholders and AFFO increased by 205% and 192% from the prior year’s third quarter, respectively.

IIP said that it had approximately $161.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and approximately $451.2 million in short-term investments, totaling approximately $612.3 million. The company said it had no debt, other than approximately $143.7 million of unsecured debt, consisting solely of 3.75% exchangeable senior notes maturing in 2024, representing a fixed cash interest obligation of approximately $5.4 million annually, or approximately $1.3 million quarterly.

IIP paid a quarterly dividend of $1.17 per share on October 15, 2020 to common stockholders of record as of September 30, 2020, representing an approximately 10% increase over the second quarter 2020’s dividend and a 50% increase over the third quarter 2019’s dividend.

COVID Rent Update

IIP has said during the first quarter earnings release, that it worked with three of its 22 tenants to provide temporary rent deferrals, structured to apply a portion of the security deposit IIP holds under each lease to pay April rent in full, defer rent for May and June in full, and provide for the pro rata repayment of the security deposit and deferred rent over an 18 month time period starting July 1. The company said that all three tenants paid rent in full for each of July, August, September and October, including pro rata repayments of the security deposit and deferred rent.

IIP also said that it collected 100% of contractual rent due for each of the months of July, August, September and October 2020 across IIP’s total portfolio (other than the tenant at IIP’s Los Angeles, California property that is in receivership), and has not executed rent deferrals for any additional tenants, other than the three tenants described above.

IIP Is Up To 63 Properties

As of November 4, 2020, IIP said it owned 63 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, totaling approximately 5.0 million rentable square feet (including approximately 1.7 million rentable square feet under development/redevelopment), which were 99.3% leased (based on square footage) with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 16.1 years.

IIP has raised total net proceeds of over $1.4 billion from all of its capital raising activities to date, after deducting underwriters’ discounts and commissions and offering expenses, and had invested approximately $908.4 million in the aggregate (excluding transaction costs) and had committed an additional approximately $273.5 million to reimburse certain tenants and sellers for completion of construction and tenant improvements at IIP’s properties. These statistics do not include up to approximately $7.2 million that may be funded in the future pursuant to IIP’s lease with a tenant at one of IIP’s Massachusetts properties, as the tenant at that property may not elect to have IIP disburse those funds to the tenant and pay IIP the corresponding base rent on those funds. These statistics also treat IIP’s Los Angeles, California property as not leased, due to the tenant being in receivership and its ongoing default in its obligation to pay rent at that location.

StaffJuly 22, 2020


As the pandemic stretches into more months, dispensaries are realizing that this might not be a temporary situation. Slapping up some plastic sheets isn’t a solution that will work for the long-term and it just doesn’t look nice. One company has incorporated new safety design measures in its dispensaries and it seems that these local level efforts could set a trend nationwide.

Led by the Guadagnino family (a family-owned business), Keystone Canna Remedies (KCR) is an MMJ dispensary chain in Pennsylvania that currently has 3 locations – Allentown, Bethlehem, and Stroudsburg (the Poconos). Its third dispensary in Stroudsburg, PA has included features in its design of the space by architect Ryan Welty of RGW Architecture, LLC to make sure both patients and employees are safe.

Since many medical marijuana patients are already dealing with immunocompromised conditions, it is even more important to protect them. The patients need to feel safe if they are leaving their homes to meet with a professional or get medicine. 

KCR Stroudsburg’s design and policy measures included the following measures:

  • The efficient use of space to expedite patient flow
  • Tempered glass partitions separating patients from sale counters
  • Quartz countertops, which boast anti-microbial properties
  • Physical distancing markers indicating appropriate spacing throughout indoor and outdoor waiting areas
  • Pharmacy consultation rooms designed to accommodate 6ft distancing
  •  Pre-order options
  • Designated parking area to accommodate curbside transactions if needed
  • Patient limits within indoor waiting and point of sale areas
  • PPE requirements for all patients and staff (facemasks and gloves), which will be provided for those without

The cannabis industry is accustomed to making adjustments as rules and regulations are frequently changed. However, in this case, most dispensaries took it upon themselves to adapt to a new normal. In KCR’s case, during the height of the pandemic, it moved all patient transactions out of the dispensary buildings and into the parking lots to maximize social distancing. It moved staff around to fill areas of need.  Some employees were tasked with being “runners” between the patient/caregiver in their parked car and counter staff.

Glass shields were installed to separate patients and staff at both the reception desk and the point of sale counters. Social distancing efforts inside the dispensary include signs and physical distancing markers which serve as reminders, and limited patient counts in our waiting area and our sales area.

In Closing

These measures may have been enacted as a response to a deadly virus, but it really does make sense to protect medical marijuana patients as much as possible. It is likely that such efforts will remain in place long after the COVID-19 threat passes. If this virus could be so deadly, there is no doubt more viruses will be in our future.




StaffJuly 20, 2020


Columbia Care (OTCQX: CCHWF) sold two of its properties in New Jersey for $12.4 million to Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP) (NYSE: IIPR). Columbia Care will then rent the two properties which include an industrial building comprising approximately 50,000 square feet and a retail location comprising approximately 4,000 square feet.

Columbia Care will continue to operate the retail property as a regulated medical-use cannabis dispensary and the industrial property as a regulated medical-use cannabis cultivation and processing facility. Columbia Care is expected to complete improvements to the industrial property and IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to $1.6 million. This brings IIP’s total investment in the two properties to approximately $14.0 million if all the improvement money is reimbursed.

“Columbia Care is one of the preeminent cannabis operators in the United States, and we are thrilled to introduce them as a new tenant partner,” said Paul Smithers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. “As one of the largest cannabis operators, Columbia Care is dedicated to providing the highest quality products and services to patients and customers, and we look forward to supporting them as a long-term real estate capital partner in New Jersey, including providing the additional real estate capital for further enhancements to their cultivation and processing facility.”

Columbia Care in New Jersey

Columbia Care is one of only three operators licensed to dispense medical cannabis in the southern region of New Jersey. In June, the company announced the opening of a dispensary location and produced its first harvest this month at its cultivation and processing facility. New Jersey classified medical cannabis dispensaries as “essential,” allowing them to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, while implementing additional safety and social distancing protocols to protect the health of patient customers and employees. Last month, the New Jersey Department of Health also enacted a waiver that allows licensed operators to provide home delivery of medical cannabis products to patients.

Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care said, “Partnering with IIP provides Columbia Care with access to nondilutive capital that offers flexibility and provides us with the ability to continue to build and expand our cultivation, manufacturing, and retail capabilities in the markets that matter most.”

The dispensary in Vineland NJ will be supported by the company’s 50,000 sq. ft. cultivation and manufacturing facility, which will supply both the dispensary as well as Columbia Care’s wholesale operations in the state. Adhering to both local and state guidelines for social distancing, patients have access to curbside and express pickup options as well as Columbia Care’s innovative Virtual.Care portal, providing the industry’s most complete virtual shopping experience.


As of July 20, 2020, IIP owned 61 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, totaling approximately 4.5 million rentable square feet (including approximately 1.5 million rentable square feet under development/redevelopment), which were 99.2% leased (based on square footage) with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 16.1 years. As of July 20, 2020, IIP had invested approximately $820.4 million in the aggregate (excluding transaction costs) and had committed an additional approximately $213.3 million to reimburse certain tenants and sellers for completion of construction and tenant improvements at IIP’s properties. .

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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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