Exhibitors, vendors and attendees waited more than a year to attend Midwest CannaCon, but from the vibe on Day One, it certainly appears to have been worth the wait. With over 200 exhibitor booths, 2 full days of seminars covering the most noteworthy topics for cannabis growers, processors and other industry professionals, attendees had more than enough substantive sights, scenes and information to fill their bags and phones.
We attended the first program on Friday morning covering important information on construction costs and expectations on building and outfitting cannabis grow and processing facilities. Tom Vezdos, General Manager of Prospiant, provided good content on some of the most important considerations in building and operating a cannabis facility. The most salient information from the seminar appears below.
While much good content disseminated from the seminar, the best piece of advice was to spend sufficient time with the architectural team and General Contractor talking over the objectives and desires of ownership as it relates to the building. While the architect is only 4% of the total project cost on average, bad design or a less efficient building can put a Cannabis company out of business if it can’t compete with others regarding product yield, cost per square foot and other such efficiency factors.
Mr. Vezdos covered other common hidden costs, including: delay of product launch to market, inaccurate design to build cost estimates, scope gap between contractors ( why a GC is imperative), lack of site security during the construction phase, significance of material handling and storage during construction, uncoordinated equipment startup and exposure to cultivation operational best practices. As is a common refrain when it’s too late to recover from major mistakes: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. Also Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware!
Much time was spent going through the exhibition hall and learning about all the different processing products, professionals available to provide expertise to ownership, retail products and even real estate companies with readily available cannabis buildings or land for the next Cannabis entrepreneur. CannaCon is truly a one stop candy shop of cannabis information for the owner or business interest in growing their cannabis business. Congratulations for a smokin’ hot show, even if it was a year in waiting.
Robert Mattler, JD, LLM, LEED AP BD&C, recent winner of the national PACENATION PACESetter award, is the Michigan market leader for Green Portfolio Solutions, LLC, a leading PACE origination and project management firm headquartered in Detroit. Bob brings more than 30 years of combined experience in real estate law, commercial brokerage and green building consulting through his efforts and experiences as a Board Member of the Detroit Chapter, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the City of Detroit Green Task Force and other sustainable organizations. Currently, Bob is involved with the Detroit 2030 District (D2D) and serves as a business development consultant helping to grow the movement through professional stakeholder and building/developer support. The D2D initiative’s goal is to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 50% in City of Detroit buildings by 2030.
Photos Courtesy Latrisha Matson