In Focus: Key Success Factors for Building a Cannabis Processing Center

Saturday, April 11, 2020

On January 1 of this year, Illinois was the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis, and there are strong indications that New York will be following suit. By the end of 2020, more than 40 U.S. states could have marijuana laws on the books — a boon for industrial speculative developers looking to diversify by seeking new growth opportunities beyond e-commerce leasing.


The development of facilities for cannabis processing is highly specialized — more akin to the development of a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant than an e-commerce warehouse. Even then, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are subject to federal oversight from the Food & Drug Administration. In contrast, cannabis is not legal at the federal level, meaning that design-builders must be familiar with a varying compilation of cannabis licensing commission rules and building codes regulating processing centers at the state level.

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