Sam Goldman: The legal cannabis industry offers multiple opportunities. Why did you choose real-estate and what was required to begin selling it?
Dana Wallace: I have been a licensed real estate agent since 2002 and obtained my real estate broker’s license in 2014. I have specialized in investor acquisitions throughout my career and so as I saw legalization of Cannabis coming our way here in California, I made a decision to align myself with the industry. It was important to me as well, because I see this plant as a miracle. There are so many holistic uses to heal various illnesses and conditions. This isn’t just about growing marijuana and people sitting around smoking. This is progression in a positive direction, especially for the huge numbers of people who will now have other options besides addictive pharmaceutical pills.
Sam: Is your industry regulated enough?
Dana: This is a work in progress! We are in an all new world and many things are happening quickly, not only in local governments, but on the state level. My experience is that each city counsel, each county counsel and the state itself, is working to outline the process for how things will proceed. My license holds me to the highest standard and I believe in nothing but conducting myself in a transparent and forthright manner. We approach each property or business deal with a mindset that it will take some time to do our due diligence and make sure that everything is compliant. It’s a case by case basis.
Sam: A first-time cannabis real-estate buyer needs to do what?
Dana: Know their numbers. When looking at a property and it’s use, run numbers on what that property will yield and all of the costs associated with running the property or the business. For example, if the property is for cannabis cultivation. First of all, is it zoned correctly? Can it be permitted or is it permitted and/or in the permitting process? What is the usable square footage? How many lights? How many plants per light? How many pounds per plant? What can you sell your product for? Run the numbers on price per pound on a conservative figure. That way you have a cushion built in for market fluctuations.
Sam: How do you vet potential clients?
Dana: I ask my clients to create a bio of themselves. Who they are and what their experience is. This is especially important, if they are looking for an investor to participate in their transaction. The investor wants to know if they are an experienced professional.
With investors looking to purchase properties or business, I request a proof of funds in some form, so that there is viable documentation that they can move forward on a deal if it makes sense.
Sam: Legal cannabis industry participants are still vilified. Do you have any horror stories?
Dana: I know of a few incidents, after the legalization rolled out in November, of raids happening. Product was destroyed and arrests by authorities, for what was stated as compliancy issues. Each person participating in the Cannabis space, needs to be hyper aware of what the ordinances are and how to comply as closely as possible with these, so that this risk is minimal.
Sam: The cannabis real-estate law every client should know is?
Dana: Check the zoning of the property identified. Check if this property is or can be approved to do Cannabis related businesses at that property. What is the permit/licensing process? Or get proof of the documentation that the owner/seller is claiming they have, to allow Cannabis related businesses at that property. Verify all information.
Sam: Do you currently have any properties available?
Dana: Yes, I do!
Sam: How much would the cannabis real-estate industry be worth if it was legal throughout the country?
Dana: That’s a number I can’t quite quote, but if we are to believe the articles and projections…billions.
Sam: The most rewarding part of your job is?
Working with people. I have met so many down to earth people who are extremely proud of their work in the Cannabis space. They have so much experience and are ready to share it with the world and they couldn’t do that before. It’s rewarding to be able to help them come out of the shadows and create the businesses they always dreamed of.
Sam: How can people find 420 real-estate online?