The attitude toward cannabis has shifted: 64% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, 93% support medical consumption, and the drug is legal in nine states plus Washington, DC. By 2028, the cannabis space is projected to be a $60B industry. So, what does that mean for us as real estate investors? How can we take advantage of the need for property to grow, manufacture and sell cannabis products?

Leslie Plettner is the director of BaseCanna, a team of cannabis, legal, finance and real estate experts who provide the funding, infrastructure and property for cannabis entrepreneurs. Leslie is a long-time entrepreneur with extensive experience in real estate. She has developed and managed more than 500 units, including a mix of warehouse, multifamily and retail properties. Three years ago, Leslie anticipated the emergence of the cannabis industry and recognized its need for cannabis-friendly landlords, and the idea for BaseCanna was born.

Today, Leslie joins me to describe BaseCanna’s work in developing an ecosystem of cannabis operators and the market opportunity in the space for real estate developers. She shares the risks of cannabis real estate, both perceived and real, and explains how BaseCanna makes decisions around who to work with. Listen in for Leslie’s insight on the appreciation of a property once it’s licensed for cannabis and learn why now is the right time to get into cannabis real estate!

Key Takeaways

The mission of BaseCanna

  • Anchor development of cannabis ecosystem with real estate
  • Support operator-members with compliance, legal issues, accounting & insurance

Leslie’s background as an entrepreneur

  • Designed, transformed underperforming schools
  • Shift to real estate when started family

BaseCanna’s current work

  • Creating vertically integrated ecosystem (seed to sale)
  • Vet municipalities, real estate and operators

The market opportunity in cannabis real estate

  • Fastest growing since broadband internet
  • Huge expansion in therapeutic consumption
  • Shift in attitude (93% support medical use)

The myths around owning cannabis real estate

  • Pothead tenants, criminal activity
  • Civil asset forfeiture (landlords protected)

The real risks around owning cannabis real estate

  • Must be in municipality regulated for cannabis
  • Ensure tenant has license, pays taxes
  • Property must be zoned for cannabis
  • Be careful of green rush illusion
  • OSHA fines, federal prohibition

How BaseCanna makes decisions around who to work with

  • Right license for right product in right market
  • Pay attention to overall market trends (i.e.: demand for manufactured products)

The appreciation on a property once it’s licensed for cannabis

  • BaseCanna paid $1.8M for two warehouses
  • Offers for $4.5M once repositioned

The permitting process for cannabis real estate

  • Very involved, 200-page applications (SOP, demo capacity)
  • Lawyers charge $40K to $75K to guide through process

Leslie’s advice on having an exit strategy

  • First opportunity = create operational campus
  • Immediate exit available once licensing in place

Leslie’s insight on getting in the cannabis game now

  • Institutional money will come in with end of federal prohibition
  • Real estate premiums will fall as more municipalities regulate

Connect with Leslie

BaseCanna

Resources

UCLA Study on Crime & Dispensaries

MAUCRSA

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment

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