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Williams Offers Room to GROW

Back Article Aug 7, 2018 By Laurie Lauletta-Boshart

Canna-Hub, a cannabis real-estate development firm, is planning its own massive cannabis complex in the city of Williams. Like Sacramento, Williams has welcomed the cannabis industry, having approved commercial activities for all license types for medicinal and recreational cannabis.

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While Canna-Hub will own the cannabis business park property, it will lease space to individual large-scale operators. The company’s 80-acre campus will cost more than $200 million to build and include roughly 1.2 million square feet of enclosed cannabis operations preapproved for cultivation, manufacturing, tissue culture and distribution. The facility will also house a full-service, third-party testing lab, which could save operators significant transport time and money. (Certified, third-party testing is required for all commercially sold cannabis products.)

Canna-Hub CEO Tim McGraw has been developing and managing real estate for 21 years and for the last six, exclusively in the cannabis space. Prior to working in California, McGraw helped craft Illinois’ cannabis legislation and built over 150,000 square feet of operations.

McGraw’s MO is to buy property prior to finalizing it for zoning changes and avoiding the exorbitant prices for cannabis-approved real estate. “We find cities that really want us there and then find property that fits,” he says. “We work very closely with the city to write ordinances that make sense.”

McGraw has been able to win over local officials with the promise of new jobs that legal marijuana is projected to bring. He worked with Williams’ city officials to write a cannabis ordinance that was very pro-business, negotiating low permitting fees and no revenue tax. McGraw secured similar terms for Canna-Hub’s site in Mendota (in Fresno County), which has already been completely leased or sold. The company expects to break ground in Williams and in Mendota this summer, creating roughly 1,300 and 200 jobs, respectively.

“We are getting between 10-25 phone calls a day from interested parties, so demand is not an issue,” McGraw says.” We expect some really large-scale operators, with the average cultivator leasing or purchasing over 20,000 square feet of space.” McGraw touts the savings advantages on supplies, power, transport, security and banking, and the business-driving synergies created when dozens of operators work together in a Canna-Hub community. “The collaboration amongst operators will also accelerate innovation,” he says.