At MJ Biz Con 2016, my first MJ Biz Con ever, when it was still held at the Rio, I saw a modular construction cube displayed and I remember thinking, "What in the world is that? It doesn't even make any sense. How could you POSSIBLY open a good dispensary, cultivation or processing facility with boxes? I call BS."
Little did I know that in 2019 I would become, basically, an advocate for using modular construction for cannabis businesses. WHY? There are many reasons why, which are listed here for dispensaries, here for cultivation, here for clean rooms and here for social use lounges. Some of my favorite things about this construction method in general, are the same as benefits of modular construction for every cannabis business type:
Time savings = earlier revenue generation
Error savings = more predictable build out schedule
Easier to expand operations = not having to buy a giant facility to phase 1 with only 40% use of the space.
More predictable expense = breathe easier about your budget
Modular cannabis facilities can be transported so if you move your location, you can take your facility with you!
(Find more in-depth information about the benefits of modular construction for cannabis businesses at the end!)
At first, it was not clear to me how much these modules would matter soon enough. This year a good friend of mine who is a commercial real estate development consultant, and now a partner J.Whitney & Co. consultant, introduced me to Xtreme Cubes. The company operates out of Las Vegas (technically Henderson) and you may have seen Xtreme Cubes at MJ Biz Con 2019! Oh, and they happen to be the exact same company which I scoffed at in 2016.
My good friend, and commercial real estate development consultant ( did I mention that already^?), told me all about her passion about the future of modular construction, not just in cannabis, but for businesses of all kinds including restaurants, hotels and apartment complexes. Because I trust her on a personal level as a friend and on a professional level as an expert, I was willing to listen with open ears and an open mind. I was even willing to let her drive me out to the factory for a visit.
When I visited the enormous and beautiful factory where these modules are manufactured, I saw coffee shops, a burger shop, a bear proof housing unit for researchers in Antarctica, and a micro-hotel. All REAL facilities for real clients. Then I was shown a cannabis cultivation facility, a social use lounge and a BIG dispensary layout. That's when I understood the real magic of modular.
When you are in a modular facility, you can barely tell the difference from a traditionally built facility. I asked about dealing with the look of the exterior of the facilities and it's possible to find a company to create a facade so the outside looks like normal. Though, the industrial modular look is kind of cool and edgy.
MOST importantly, the buildings are absolutely capable of being set up compliantly and with good workflow. The cultivation and production facilities can even come completely ready to go, stocked with equipment (their pre-chosen equipment selection, or yours!).
My mindset completely shifted after seeing the factory. 2016 me was wrong about modular construction for cannabis businesses. One of my biggest perspective changes was from seeing modular as some low-budget solution, to seeing it as a forward-thinking way of doing things. In 2019, I'm thinking, "if construction experts are all certain that modular construction is the future, if high functioning countries which are known for design are certain that modular is the future, and if businesses which rely on well-built facilities (such as apartment housing and hotels) are moving toward modular construction....WHY in the world would the cannabis industry not progress right along with them, before we are all stuck playing catch up?
Now, I tell every client we work with at J. Whitney &Co. about using modular construction cubes, and the in we have with the best makers around. Modular construction is our go-to recommendation when a client intends to do a new build of :
an indoor hemp or cannabis cultivation
an outdoor grow that needs an office or a housing unit on-site
a social consumption lounge;
or a production facility.
The same goes for you if you are planning on a new build for 1 cannabis facility or 10, or 20; consider modular construction. Really, consider it. I'd say, "do it." Connect with us at jwhitneyco.com and let's discuss it further!
Article cover photo by Certainteed.com
As promised: More in depth information about the benefits of modular construction for cannabis businesses:
The factory-controlled process generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances and allows for tighter construction.
Greater Flexibility and Reuse:
Modular buildings can be disassembled, and the modules can be relocated or refurbished for new use, reducing the demand for raw materials andminimizing the amount of energy expended to create a building to meet the new need.
Construction of modular buildings occurs simultaneously with site work, allowing projects to be completed in half the time of traditional construction.
Reduced Construction Schedule:
Because construction of modular buildings can occur simultaneously with the site and foundation work, projects can be completed 30% to 50% sooner than traditional construction.
Elimination of Weather Delays:
60 - 90% of the construction is completed inside a factory, which mitigates the risk of weather delays. Buildings are occupied sooner, creating a faster return on investment.
Built to Code with Quality Materials:
Modular buildings are built to meet or exceed the same building codes and standards as site-built structures, and the same architect-specified materials used in conventionally constructed buildings are used in modular construction projects.
Less Material Waste:
When building in a factory, waste is eliminated by recycling materials, controlling inventory and protecting building materials.
Improved Air Quality:
Because the modular structure is substantially completed in a factory-controlled setting using dry materials, the potential for high levels of moisture being trapped in the new construction is eliminated.
Modular buildings are built with the same materials and to the same building codes and architectural specifications as traditional construction.
The indoor construction environment reduces the risks of accidents and related liabilities for workers.
Limitless Design Opportunities:
Modular units may be designed to fit in with external aesthetics of any existing building and modular units, once assembled, are virtually indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts.