Comstock's magazine 0818-August 2018 - Page 58

n CANNABIS the supply chain, including cultivation, manufacturing, dis- tribution and a delivery-only dispensary. “It was always our intention to be owner-operators,” Ma- talon says. “When Sacramento added manufacturing and distribution and delivery, we saw an opportunity and advan- tages to developing a vertically integrated cannabis campus in one location.” Chief among them are the synergy created by multiple operations co-located on the same site, the ca- pacity to drive a strong business model and job creation. Located on Elder Creek Road in the Power Inn district, We Grow CA’s project is on track to become Sacramento’s first in- tegrated cannabis campus, slated to include 265,000 square feet of space. Two existing buildings will be rehabilitated, and three new mixed light-cultivation facilities erected. The company intends to employ energy and water-efficient tech- nologies the owners have gleaned from operations in Israel and across the world, like a proposed sophisticated water and feeding system. We Grow CA’s project is scheduled to go be- fore the City’s planning commission after environmental review. The company expects to be fully operational by late 2019 and estimates the facility will create 300 jobs. The logistical challenges needed to construct a compliant campus with multiple operations is daunting and unprec- edented. In addition to securing a CUP and various business operating permits, facilities must meet proper setbacks, pass an environmental review, implement odor-scrubbing technology, install high-level security and make sure all prod- ucts are third-party tested. The investment is significant, but the co-founders are hoping the payoff is as well. “The biggest cost is mitigating the risk and constantly in- novating as this industry gets more sophisticated, efficient and competitive,” Matalon says. Though smaller in size, Azimi agrees that sophistication is paramount. So is cutting out the middleman. In Sacramento, where he started, Azimi perfected his supply-chain pro- cess through trial and error before he felt he could duplicate the effort in other jurisdictions. “Right now, the name of the game and those that will be left standing after California goes through its consolidation will be the ones that have vertical in- tegration,” Azimi says. “If I can have my own customer-facing operation and build my own cultivation and supply my own customer base, I’m not dependent on external entities. That is going to be the ingredient for success.” n Laurie Lauletta-Boshart is a contributing writer and editor for consumer publications, Fortune 500 companies, small business and higher education. At www.wordplaycommunications.com or on Twitter @laurieboshart. Challenging Projects. Outstanding Clients. nachtlewis.com | 916.329.4000 58 Comstock's comstocksmag.com Ad FINAL.indd 1 | August 2018 7/13/2018 9:14:42 AM