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Cannabis Still Drives Industrial Demand, But Faces Challenges In Finding Good Space

What's next for the Denver-area industrial market, as cannabis matures into a known driver of demand for industrial space? Find out more at our Denver Industrial Investment & Development Conference on Aug. 23 at The Ritz-Carlton Denver.


Medicine Man CEO Andy Williams, who will be a speaker at the event, tells us the cannabis industry faces a great deal of challenges in finding space for cultivation and even retail shops.

"Zoning has made it hard for business owners to be able to expand their market share because finding appropriately zoned property, that which can be used for cannabis business in areas like Denver or Adams County, is tough," he says.


However, Andy adds, as more states, cities and markets continue to broaden their horizons to the positive impact this industry has in their communities, "I believe that restrictions will begin to change a bit and create a better ecosystem for cannabis owners to thrive."

Andy founded Medicine Man with his brother Pete in 2010 to produce medicinal marijuana; now the $17M business also serves recreational consumers from locations in Denver and Aurora.


Sweet Grass Kitchen founder and CEO Julie Berliner, who also will be a speaker, agrees the challenges facing the Colorado cannabis industry with regards to industrial space and scalability are multifaceted.

"Multiple locations means multiple licenses, even if each location and license is associated with only one business," she says. "This costs thousands of dollars per year in renewal fees and is not always feasible for an industry that already lacks access to typical financing."


Also, Julie explains, state and local jurisdictions have different limitations on marijuana businesses, ranging from the number of marijuana businesses in a given radius, to specific cannabis zoning requirements, energy offset and odor mitigation.

"Also, federal prohibition creates legitimate concerns for property owners over the safety and security of their assets, causing reluctance in working with cannabis businesses," she says. Julie founded Sweet Grass in 2009, specializing in fresh baked confections, using its own full-flower cannabutter.

Hear more from our experts about cannabis and its industrial space needs at our Denver Industrial Investment & Development Conference beginning at 7:30am Aug. 23 at The Ritz-Carlton Denver.