420 Property considers the real estate side of the cannabis industry


Ryan George is breaking new ground on an often overlooked aspect of the country’s growing cannabis industry: real estate. George launched 420 Property in 2016 and has since become the premier platform for growers, dispensaries, retailers and distributors to find space for their businesses.

“I have a background in real estate and commercial real estate,” said Sacramento, Calif.-based George. “Around 2010 or 2011, I had clients trying to find very specific use properties that were ultimately for cannabis. But when I was trying to find the properties at the time, it was very difficult.

Ryan George, contributed photo.

“You had to call around and get around the cannabis taboo with the owners,” George recalls of his early efforts. “You had to do it professionally, but if you just walked out and said, ‘Are you okay with a medical marijuana tenant? “, You really ran the risk of the broker slamming the phone in your ear.”

This experience inspired him to create his company’s website, as he knew others would need to find the same properties and other people would be looking for places to work in the industry. But if the idea came to him after these transactions, he had to wait several years for the legalization efforts to progress.

Today, several states, including Connecticut, have legalized recreational use and many other legalized medical uses. George said there are a few factors, which are more important in the cannabis industry when reviewing sites. Warehouses are desirable for most growers because they don’t need a lot of facilities and considerations from other industrial processes. What they need is a great electrical hookup to run the lights and water pumps of the hydroponic systems.

According to George, medical dispensaries and hobby retailers want much of what a typical store is looking for. But in addition to high traffic areas with ample parking, they prioritize safety because of the value of their product and the money they will need until federal legalization allows them to work more. easily with banks.

When it comes to outdoor grow setups, location is by far the most important factor. According to George, the state can produce some plants with commercial applications such as pre-rolls, but the high-quality flowers that consumers tend to prefer will be difficult to produce in the state.

Ironically, outdoor cannabis cultivation in the state may face a reverse situation from Connecticut’s historic tobacco farms where shade-grown leaves were prized for their aesthetics and used to wrap cigars.

Bethel Farm is for sale on property 420. Photo by Justin McGown.

420 Property operates on a “freemium” model, which means it’s free to post and read ads, but there are a number of enhancements that customers can pay for to help their posts reach a wider audience. George’s site also benefits from the fact that while federal regulations currently impede the transportation of cannabis across state lines, the real estate side of the business is only subject to the usual real estate regulations.

Currently, six Connecticut properties — one in Bethel and five in Hartford County — plus processing equipment in Easton are listed on Property 420, but George said he expects that number to grow, in especially in the near future. He also indicated that there could well be a series of “turnarounds” where warehouses in poor condition could be acquired on the cheap, given improved and refurbished electrical hookups in anticipation of growing demand.

“I’m very excited about the East Coast,” George said of the potential for a cannabis-driven real estate market in the region. “The East Coast has been a developing market for a few years, I’ve been waiting for Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, all to come online. It’s been a slower process, but it’s going to be big.

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