starting a cannabis business, starting a grow house, starting a commercial greenhouse, cannabis business financing

You Won a Cannabis License — Now What?

If you’re one of the lucky cannabis license applicants who just received the incredible news that you’ve been granted a cannabis license, congratulations! It’s a huge first step. Your business will be making history. Starting a cannabis business is no small feat. With the ever-changing legislative landscape shifting beneath our feet, the long and winding path to acquire cannabis business financing and complete construction, and a laundry list of requirements to maintain compliance, it’s not surprising that cannabis owners feel they’re stumbling to catch solid footing. Whether you’re starting a commercial greenhouse or grow house, or making plans for a dispensary, the path from license to fully operational cannabis business is a complex one. Thankfully, our business is to know all the intricate steps between “Congrats on your license!” and “We’re open!” Let’s talk about the benefits of engaging the A to Z consulting services of CannaRE\Group to help you fund, source, design, build, and launch your cannabis business. Let’s talk about these crucial steps.

  • Check off necessary requirements before applying for building permits
  • Make connections with the right people — architects, contractors, lawyers, oh my
  • Work with cannabis-industry experts in HVAC, lighting, construction
  • Stay compliant at all levels along the way

We help with necessary requirements before applying for building permits

Once you’ve received your cannabis license, a new set of tasks begins. Knowing those steps can be complicated if you’re new to this process. Bill Betts and the team at CannaRE\Group have years of experience assisting cannabis businesses understand and complete the next steps. If you’re starting a commercial greenhouse, your build process can’t begin until you have the proper permits, schematic designs, concept drawings and concept site plans, as well as pre-construction estimates completed by a licensed contractor or firm that knows the intricate specifics of these types of builds.

These plans are meant to take you from concept to schematic, preparing your essential documents to submit before you can start your build. This part of the process will take time and money, but done with the insight from the right people, it can save you potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and precious days, weeks, and months. CannaRE\Group has the resources and step-by-step plans to execute.

You’ll need these documents prepared before you start to build your cannabis business:

  • Concept drawings and concept site plans
  • Pre-construction estimates completed by a licensed contractor
  • Schematic designs from a licensed architect
  • Building permits
  • Cannabis business financing

You need experts — we know them

The most impactful step a cannabis business owner can take is delegating crucial next steps to the professionals who can execute the plan. When you’re starting a grow house (or any other cannabis business), you need an expert team to help you avoid common pitfalls like project delays and surprise costs. We have strategic partnerships in all phases of building a new cultivation facility — architects, contractors, investors, lawyers, and more.

Whether our customers are at the stage of securing cannabis business financing, sourcing property, drawing plans for a ground-up build, cultivation facility planning, building, or assessing for compliance, we make valuable connections that turn handshakes into tangible action.

Industry-specific utilities require cannabis-experienced professionals

When it’s time to begin outfitting cultivation or dispensary spaces with the necessary utilities, it’s vital to partner with providers who have cannabis experience. Cannabis cultivation spaces require systems for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, dehumidification, plumbing, lighting, electric, as well as processing rooms, storage space, security considerations, and rooms designed for specialized equipment.

We hear all too frequently about costly problems caused by vendors without cannabis experience. This is not the time to cut corners. Getting it right from the beginning is vital in saving precious time, money, and delays. When we shake hands with new clients who are starting a cannabis business, we facilitate the introduction to providers we trust with proven skills. Our clients benefit from quality services and make life-long partnerships.

We help you to stay compliant at all levels

At every step along the way from concept through opening day, the local town, burrow, township, and state can all have a say in the approval of a new grow house, processing facility or dispensary. Staying in compliance requires professionals well versed in the local and state laws.

An CannaRE\Group, it’s our passion and honor to walk new clients through the process of starting a cannabis business. Whether you’re opening a dispensary, starting a commercial greenhouse, starting a grow house, or building a manufacturing facility, we are here to help. We know this work through and through. You can’t surprise us — we have seen it all.

Are you ready to make your dreams a reality? Let’s start the conversation. We can’t wait to work with you.

new jersey cannabis business license | new jersey cannabis license types | new jersey cannabis application | how to start a cannabis business in new jersey

Get a New Jersey Cannabis Business License

In 2020, New Jersey was one of five states in which residents voted to allow recreational cannabis, and adult-use cannabis sales officially began April 21, 2022. More than 12,000 customers lined up in the Garden State, buying nearly $2 million worth of recreational cannabis products on the first day of sales, according to the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). From that first day until May 21, regulators said consumers purchased $24.2 million worth at the 12 dispensaries approved to sell adult-use cannabis. This sales amount is welcomed but is low compared to other states: Arizona reported $32 million in sales in the first full month with 73 facilities, and New Mexico sales reached nearly $40 million with at least 100 dispensaries.

In order to expand options and revenue, the CRC continues to issue licenses for medicinal and recreational cannabis businesses. A New Jersey cannabis business license is required for growing cannabis plants, storing cannabis and cannabis products, making cannabis products, transporting or delivering cannabis and cannabis products, selling cannabis and cannabis products, as well as testing cannabis and cannabis products.

New Jersey Cannabis Business License

There is not an established limit on the number of New Jersey cannabis business licenses available. By statute, however, the number of Class 1 Cultivators is to be held to 37 licenses until February 22, 2023. The CRC is currently accepting applications for recreational cannabis businesses in the categories of Class 1 Cultivators, Class 2 Manufacturers, Class 5 Retailers, and Testing Laboratories. The fee schedule allots for standard businesses as well as microbusinesses. New Jersey cannabis application fees range from $100 to $1,600, and licensing fees range from $1,000 to $50,000.

A unique aspect of this program is the mandated policy of prioritizing people with prior cannabis convictions when it comes to working legally within the industry. Priority status is set for others as well, including minority-, woman-, disabled-, and veteran-owned businesses, certified as such by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, plus businesses owned by citizens located in an impact zone, a low-income area more impacted by the War on Drugs.

“Social equity businesses, diversely owned businesses, and impact zone businesses will be prioritized in the licensure process so that their [New Jersey cannabis] applications are reviewed before other applicants—regardless of when they apply,” the state’s website explains. “Applications from entities that meet criteria for more than one priority status will be reviewed, scored, and approved in accordance with the status of highest priority.”

New Jersey is not alone in taking social disparity into account when crafting new regulations and laws, as statistics have highlighted this issue for many, many years. For example, according to the ACLU, Black people are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis use, possession, and sale.

Education is part of the development process too. Hudson County Community College (HCCC) now offers cannabis-related coursework including an associate degree program and two certification programs. Additionally, the college is offering a four-week non-credit program concentrated on applying for and operating a cannabusiness in New Jersey. HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber said in a statement the college “is dedicated to providing our diverse community with state-of-the-art programs that will lead to success and upward social and economic mobility.”

In an interview, cannabis attorney Jessica Gonzalez, who is involved with developing the college’s curriculum, noted that HCCC’s student body “is primarily Latino students, followed by Black students. It’s an important step for this institution to embrace cannabis to ensure that communities most harmed have access to cannabis education and are aware of the opportunities this industry brings,” she said.

Other cannabis programs within the state can be found at Stockton University, Rowan University, Raritan Valley Community College, and Bergen Community College.

How to Start a Cannabis Business in New Jersey

Ready to get into the industry? This are the basics on how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey:

  • Familiarize yourself specifically with New Jersey cannabis license types
  • Create a business plan
  • Develop procedures
  • Map out a budget and financial projections
  • Build your team
  • Obtain funding
  • Secure property
  • Complete the New Jersey cannabis application

Canna Real Estate Group specializes in commercial cannabis real estate and provides financial, architecture and construction consulting on how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey. With an established presence in New Jersey, we provide property acquisition, licensing submittals and municipal compliance services for our new cannabis clients there. If you have questions about the New Jersey cannabis license types or need assistance with your New Jersey cannabis application, we can help!

The Garden State is on a very strong growth path and we’re very much a part of it! Canna Real Estate Group can help you locate and secure qualified property for purchase or lease, and connect you with the right cannabis industry business and/or construction loan providers that fit your project’s needs. Let’s talk about your project!

cannabis industry business loans | business loans for cannabis industry | small cannabis business start up loans | small business loans cannabis

Types of Business Loans for the Cannabis Industry

The industry surrounding cannabis is not a flash in the pan. It continues to grow, and become less controversial, every day. According to the cannabis research firm Arcview, by 2027 cannabis is expected to be a $57 billion industry worldwide. Within the United States in 2021, $25 billion was spent on cannabis. Although some things about this business section are unique, every company has certain universal needs. One of these is a need for financial guidance for shrewd operation and profits.

Business Loans for Cannabis Industry

Cannabis industry business loans are available to those looking to begin or improve their place in the industry. Some examples of business loans for cannabis industry are use of private equity or capital stack, real estate financing (which secures commercial real estate to use as collateral for a company), invoice financing (to increase cash flow speed), purchase order financing via paying suppliers upfront, inventory financing through large quantity commitments, working capital loans, and sale-leaseback options. Further, some states have legislated social equity programs within their legalization laws. For example, when considering small business loans, cannabis companies should look into lending options in California, Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, or create a news alert for states which have recently begun to legalize to stay abreast on the topic.

Small Cannabis Business Start Up Loans

Traditional lenders are not often in this marketplace, so detailed research into small cannabis business start up loans is key. When comparing, look for fair and competitive pricing as compared to other cannabis business quotes, a simple application in understandable verbiage, easy payment options, and a commitment to continued customer service. All of these features will assist with minimizing loan-related frustrations. It is also typically best to avoid commission-driven lending brokers when searching for business loans for cannabis industry, as your best interests may not always be at the forefront. Additionally, carefully read and inquire about any potential hidden fees for processing and early repayment.

While the options for small cannabis business start up loans can be overwhelming, time and money carefully spent can be quite fruitful. Consider the city of Los Angeles, where cannabis companies have to secure a lease before they can get a license. Getting the lease can be challenging, but this requirement has created an opportunity for investors and lenders to work themselves into the flourishing trade. When armed with the right information, both business owners and landlords can boost their bottom line through intelligent financing.

“When putting together a hybrid capital stack the most important thing is to do your homework so you don’t waste everyone’s time,” according to Charles Adkins, founder of the real estate investment bank The Titan Group. Adkins has underwritten and placed more than $3 billion of complex capital structures over the past 16 years, mostly from private investors. “Even though private money and mezzanine equity are highly flexible, they also tend to stick to their niches. You have to know what your capital providers specialize in so that you pick one that will be comfortable in your specific deal. You may pay a higher rate or give up some control, possibly even allow them to be active in the investment, but if the deal makes sense you will end up with a ‘no lose’ situation.”

In a recent interview with Rob Sechrist, President of Pelorus Equity Group, cannabis was identified as one of the largest new asset classes in the U.S., a segment of real estate representing about $50 billion. This is due to industry popularity as well as the trend of cannabis properties generating up to 15 times more revenue than non-cannabis properties. Cannabis-use buildings require very specific infrastructure such as sensitive light and temperature regulation and specialty-use equipment, and therefore meticulous management of working capital is essential.

Those looking for real estate inspiration beyond warehouses, labs and dispensaries have found new territory in cannabis consumption lounges, which are becoming popular around the country in states that allow recreational adult use. One example in the United States is in Nevada, where less traditional venues such as massage studios, arcades, and comedy clubs are expanding their refreshment offerings. Lounges are anticipated to open on bustling corridors, both commercial and industrial, including near the famous Strip and in the downtown Arts District. Alaska, California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania also allow social consumption in designated areas.

Cannabis Industry Business Loans

With all of Canna Real Estate Group’s strategic capital source relationships, we have experienced insight to guide the way for our Clients’ optimized use of private equity, the exploration of capital stack stabilization and the efficient sequencing of structured debt solutions. Canna Real Estate Group can help you locate and secure qualified property for purchase or lease and connect you with the right cannabis industry business and/or construction loan providers that fit your project’s needs. We’d love to hear about your project. Let’s start a conversation!

cannabis commercial real estate | cannabis real estate financing | cannabis financial | cannabis financial services

3 Reasons to Work with a Cannabis Real Estate Professional

Stepping into the cannabis industry can be daunting: every legal state is home to a separate set of laws and regulations, and entrepreneurs face different challenges working to secure cannabis financial services or cannabis commercial real estate than in other industries. In cannabis, geography isn’t the industry’s only limitation — most banking services aren’t available to the cannabis industry. Because of this, standard processes for securing loans and investors are unavailable to new cannabis businesses. With the added financial stress of high tax rates, these issues have the potential to significantly impact businesses’ net profits and create a substantial amount of risk for business owners and contractors. Worse still, since cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 drug, it’s federally illegal status prevents some landlords from renting to cannabis businesses, an added obstacle.

The good news, however, is that a growing group of professionals, including in cannabis commercial real estate, specialize in serving the cannabis industry and can help emerging cannabis businesses. Rather than gritting your teeth through rigorous processes, it’s often best to leave projects to professionals who have honed their expertise after years working within the cannabis industry. But with all of the risk involved, how do you know which professionals are right for you?

Cannabis Commercial Real Estate Professionals

That’s where Canna Real Estate Group comes in. We’re a consulting firm that specializes in commercial and residential real estate, and can provide cannabis real estate financing services, architectural, and construction consulting for cannabis businesses looking to work with experienced specialists. We always recommend finding the right people to work for you and your business, and since step one includes finding a property to house your business, finding a cannabis real estate professional is of the utmost importance. There are tons of reasons why working with a seasoned professional will benefit your business, but for now, let’s cover the top 3 reasons to work with a cannabis real estate professional:

1. They can help locate Cannabis Commercial Real Estate for purchase or rental

Renting a property means that you will not be tied to a specific location. It’s no secret that state-regulated cannabis markets see frequent regulatory changes, and sometimes these changes could affect where a business is allowed to operate, or what types of buildings you can occupy.

Not only will hiring a professional real estate consultant alleviate the burden of familiarizing with a laundry list of regulations, they’ll also ensure that a lawyer reviews a lease before you sign it, and will make sure that the landlord understands the nature of your business model before you become a tenant. A real estate consultant can also help create a backup plan, should your landlord refuse to renew your lease or raise your rent unreasonably. If regulations shift, your backup plan will determine how smoothly an unexpected transition will go.

There are other advantages to owning the property where your business will operate. Owning a property alleviates concerns surrounding whether a landlord will renew your lease or raise rent. Ownership also increases privacy, and keeps an asset on your books rather than a potential liability. 

Owning a commercial property comes with a lot of additional responsibility, however, and raises new potential problems. Does your property have room to grow as the business scales, and the costs associated with said scaling? Also, if you should have to move your business, will your property be easy to sell?

Unless you have extensive commercial real estate experience, working with a cannabis-focused specialist is the best way to ensure that you’ll navigate this process successfully. 

2. They’re familiar with “green zones”

Every state has a regulatory body that determines what constitutes cannabis friendly real estate. This list typically includes restrictions, or caps, that municipalities have placed on the number of licenses in any given location.

There’s only a certain number of licenses that are granted under the available types of marijuana licenses in every state, county, or township. Furthermore, determining which municipalities have opted-in is the best place to start searching for cannabis friendly real estate.

The next step is to find property that’s for sale or rent within your chosen municipality. Most online listings state whether the property is in a “green zone”; zones where marijuana facilities can operate, but not always. Sometimes you’ll need to call the municipality to retrieve a copy of their marijuana business ordinances, and you should review the municipality’s zoning map to see the property’s zoning classification. Due to the abundance of red tape involved in securing a cannabis-friendly property, you may need to hire an attorney that knows cannabis municipal and zoning requirements before purchasing or leasing property. This is where hiring a cannabis real estate professional can save your business time, headaches, and (most of all) money.

3. Access to a network of professionals to cover your business’ needs

Hiring a cannabis real estate professional goes far beyond simply finding a property. Due to the highly regulated and precarious nature of the cannabis industry, it’s not a matter of if, but when, you might need an attorney with cannabis experience, an architect familiar with cannabis build-outs, cannabis financial services, and more.

When working with a cannabis consulting firm like Canna Real Estate Group, you’re getting top of the line assistance within all of the necessary avenues to start or expand your cannabis business. Whether it’s complete builds, renovations, cannabis commercial financing to source loans or secure funding, or simply getting trusted advice, we’re here to help you create your dream cannabis business.

ohio grow

Ohio-Based Cultivation Client

Canna Real Estate Group is presently working with an established cultivation client located in Ohio.   The client had privately funded the design and construction of this headhouse-greenhouse grow operation with additional room for building expansion on the site.   One of CREG’s preferred senior structured debt partners is working on new valuations for the Property with which we will recapitalize the facility, allowing for capital necessary for expansion.   It’s going to be a great project, stay tuned!

reed construction

Strategic Partnership with Chicago’s Reed Construction

Canna Real Estate Group is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Chicago’s own Reed Construction.  Reed’s cannabis practice group, led by our friend Michael Machat, has built sophisticated cultivation facilities in multiple states. They’ve also completed award-winning dispensaries to compliment those cultivation facilities.   CREG and Reed have developed design/build standards for spec cultivation facilities throughout use for many of our shared, and our new, clients and client prospects in several emerging and newly-licensed states.



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