How and Why Construction Firms are Focusing on the Cannabis Industry

//How and Why Construction Firms are Focusing on the Cannabis Industry

How and Why Construction Firms are Focusing on the Cannabis Industry

Eleven states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis and thirty-three states have legalized the medical use of cannabis. And that’s not to mention the explosion of CBD and hemp manufacturers and retailers that are springing up all over the country, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The demand for new facilities to promote the growth and sale of cannabis is quickly spreading across the U.S. Below we’ll cover how and why construction firms are focusing on the cannabis industry.

Types of Projects

Commercial construction estimators and contractors have been especially busy planning and executing on many dispensaries and legal grow operations. Here are some of the special-purpose projects commercial construction firms are focusing on in the cannabis industry.

  • Greenhouses – Built to provide ideal indoor growing conditions and productive working environments for staff.
  • Testing labs – New spaces used for product development, potency testing, safety screening, genetic services, cultivation science, etc.
  • Dispensaries – Places that market cannabis products for either recreational or medicinal use.
  • Marijuana Infused Products (MIP) Kitchens – Where concentrates, pods, tinctures, edibles, and lotions are safely produced.
  • Extraction Rooms – Places that use high-tech industrial machinery and chemical apparatus for cannabis extraction.

Advanced Building Requirements

This is also a highly-regulated trade that requires a specialized design-build process. If you want to avoid major consequences, then you really have to prioritize compliance and adhere to all of the building codes related to the handling, storage, and distribution of cannabis. Then, it’s important to focus on providing customers with a differentiated experience to keep up with the stiff competition. Here are some tips that can help you to win more of these projects.

According to Kathryn Settimo, NCIDQ of BIGGarchitecture, “Grow facilities must comply with many advanced building requirements and specialized mechanical needs. If these needs are not addressed early in the schematic design phase. This could result in having less grow space than anticipated.

We had a recent client that needed a specific amount of plants they assumed the building they purchased could accommodate there needs to be profitable, however they did not account for hallways egress paths and exits out of the facility etc. In turn the building was not large enough for their business plan.

Doing a Schematic design assessment early can ensure that there is enough growing space to achieve your growing goals. It also allows you to plan for future expansion.”

Highlight Successful Project Timelines

Since marijuana companies have to invest in state licenses, and adhere to specific deadlines for opening their operations, they are more likely to partner with construction firms that have a history of completing projects on schedule. The success of opening new locations is often dependent upon who opens their doors first, so owners should definitely explore ways to expedite the design-build process.

Know the Rules Inside and Out

Project teams assigned to building new facilities have to understand the state regulations and navigate the approval and permitting process along the way. Focus on hiring project managers with experience related to building cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

Showcase Secure Environments

Security features are paramount when it comes to building dispensaries and storing, displaying, and selling cannabis products. Although cannabis security regulations vary between states, some common requirements stipulate that businesses must take stringent measures to regulate access into areas containing marijuana and install comprehensive video surveillance systems around the buildings. In addition to enhanced security features, contractors and construction leadership should also plan for the appropriate infrastructure that cultivation facilities require such as artificial light and extensive watering and power systems.

Legal cannabis sales are predicted to reach approximately $30 billion over the next five years. Timing, security, and the regulations are the three of the most important aspects of building within the cannabis industry.


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By | 2020-06-21T15:47:47-04:00 June 25th, 2020|Construction Blog|

About the Author:

The Birmingham Group has been serving the construction industry since 1967. Brian Binke took over the firm in 1995 and since that time, he has personally placed over 1200 construction managers and senior leaders, with company revenues ranging from $10 million dollars to the largest ENR 400 companies in the industry. Brian is an industry innovator, with a specialized skillset in construction. His keen understanding of business, the construction industry, and ability to effectively match and recruit top leaders has led to many accolades. He was ranked the #1 International Billing Owner in the construction industry for his own personal production and has been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 International Billing Owners out of 800 owners worldwide. This includes owners across every industry. In 2013, Brian was awarded the #1 International Billing Owner within the entire network. For over two decades, Brian has been considered one of the most influential thought leaders in the construction industry. His business and construction knowledge are used as a resource for some of the nation’s most prominent publications. In the past year alone, Brian has been quoted in or authored articles for The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, MoneyWatch, Construction Today, ConstructionDive, United Rentals, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Express, Builder Magazine, and Human Resource Executive, among others. "I believe companies are a lot like sports teams. The team with the best players usually wins. It is my passion to deliver the absolute best talent to my client companies – the market’s top performers, the talent that every company wants to hire but which seldom seems available. To put it simply, I thrive on helping my clients build their Dream Team." - Brian Binke, The Birmingham Group

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