Following a five-state search for a marijuana cultivation operation to buy, Georgia-based real estate investment firm UC Asset LP announced this week it’s entering the cannabis industry by acquiring Oklahoma-based Fire Ranch Farm in an all-stock deal.
UC Asset said in a news release it intends to invest another $1 million into the 10,000-square-foot property to increase its canopy by 50% and then lease it back to Fire Ranch Farm, which will pay slowly increasing rent for the foreseeable future.
The acquisition price is 2.5 million shares of UC Asset LP, and Fire Ranch Farm has agreed to continue renting the property, according to the announcement. The rent will remain the same for the next three years, but will begin increasing by 5% every two years after that.
UC Asset expects a 14.4% cash annual return on the investment, it said.
“This will be our first cannabis property, and it is our one and only selection after screening numerous opportunities in the past 15 months,” Larry Wu, founder of UC Asset, said in a statement.
“Since we announced our intention to invest in cannabis property in October 2021, our team has made hundreds of phone calls to potential sellers, screened tens of opportunities, and conducted research in five different states, including Colorado, California, and New York. That is why we are so confident in our final choice,” Wu said. “We believe Oklahoma is the future for cannabis cultivation.”
Greg Bankston, the managing general partner of UC Asset, also said the deal protects the company’s shareholders by practically guaranteeing a profit.
“There exists a three-party agreement, that for any preferred shares converted, the monthly rent on the property will be increased proportionally, so that the company will generate more income from the property,” Bankston said.