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Real Estate for New Jersey Cannabis Growers and Sellers Comes With Its Own Set of Challenges

Sira Naturals marijuana growing facility in Milford, Mass.
Aaron Schachter
Sira Naturals marijuana growing facility in Milford, Mass.

Growers need big industrial spaces —- hard to find in the state's tight real estate market — and clients want an out if they can't get licensed.

For those looking to enter the cannabis industry in New Jersey, finding a place is just another part of the process.

Those who want to grow cannabis have a very specific set of real estate needs.

Matte Namer is the founder and CEO of Cannabeta Realty in New York City, a firm created to serve this business.

“Businesses that are doing cultivation require quite a lot of power needs, quite a lot of water needs, will often need spaces that have high ceilings,” said Namer, “so there’s a lot of sort of metrics around the types of industrial spaces that you would find for those tenants.”

Namer said there’s not much empty space in New Jersey right now.

“New Jersey has one of the tightest industrial markets in the country right now, the vacancy rates are under 3%, and we estimate probably only about 15% to 20% or so of the towns in New Jersey have opted-in to allow cultivation,” said Namer, who added that many of the towns that are allowing cultivation have designated areas where it is allowed.

Namer said part of any contract for cannabis-related real estate has to be an escape clause.

“Our clients usually want to obviously make sure they have some type of contingency or out in the event that they are never able to win a license,” Namer said, “and so just negotiating that with potential landlords or sellers can be a challenge.”

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.