Lev, a commercial real estate (CRE) financing platform, said it completed more than $40 million in cannabis CRE loans across five different sponsors, with an additional $50 million in the pipeline.
The news comes as cannabis are increasingly struggling to find funds to back their ventures amid a tightening environment – stymied by a lack of federal banking regulation.
“We’ve worked hard to build our relationships with federal banks at Lev, and it’s paying off,” Lev CEO Yaakov Zar said in a news release. “The cannabis CRE market is notoriously tricky – different states have different regulations and closing a deal can be complicated.”
The company said that it “works with serious investors to navigate complex hurdles at the federal and state levels to close cannabis deals two times faster than traditional methods.”
A portion of the deal locations include Sacramento, California; Denver; Tempe, Arizona; and Lakeville, Massachusetts, including a loan of $16.8 million for the Massachusetts property.
Lev said it also aided in the closing of one national portfolio with properties in Arizona, California and Missouri, with proceeds of $15 million. Property types included cultivation facilities, commercial dispensaries or mixed-use retail property using nonrecourse loans for funding.
Bryan McLaren, CEO of Zoned Properties, the real estate development firm that closed a debt financing deal on its Tempe property, said that “By working with Lev, we were able to close quickly and secure an initial debt facility of up to $4.5 million. Lev was able to help us secure deal terms above and beyond the vast majority of cannabis deal structures we’ve seen over the past decade.”
In addition to a speedy loan close, Lev said it has managed to offer optimal pricing and the lowest interest rates, as low as 4.5%.
Companies also often need help navigating the complex regulations as the national landscape for cannabis legalization continues to shift rapidly.