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Gauging Interest/Curiosity - Designing/Permitting Cannabis ProjectsRebecca Friedberg - Aug 17, 2018 4:16PM
I'm wondering if anyone on this list has experience or interest in working on cannabis projects. I'd like to cultivate a knowledge community of building design professionals and ancillaries working with cannabis business owners so we can all serve our clients better and make our own lives easier as we work to get these projects approved.
With that in mind, I've been in discussion with one of the founders of BIG Oakland, Kyle Rawlins (cc'd here) about organizing an event around best practices for architects, designers, engineers, GCs, etc. as they prepare and submit their cannabis and building permit applications. We plan to have a number of experts on a panel or moderated discussion at BIG Oakland. BIG Oakland is the new(ish) coworking space for people working in the building industry. Not only do they provide a space for architects, engineers, GCs, etc to come work in a beautiful shared space, they also host host a number of events for the community.
In any case, is this a topic any of you are interested in or in which you could share your expertise?
We'd really love to hear from you! The event would be open to anyone, from architects and designers to prospective cannabis entrepreneurs considering applying for these permits, though we'd like to focus on topics most relevant to the design professionals helping clients through the permitting process.
Some of the building-related design topics we're considering are: permitting best practices, local government priorities, spatial design, mechanical design, odor mitigation, security, energy usage, budgeting and costs (permits, TI build-outs, licenses, professional fees) equity programs, funding and financing, leasing structures, and more. We know this is a lot but as we narrow down our participants, we will distill the program and, if interest is there, create an event series. We'd really love YOUR feedback on what you think we should be talking about! What topics are most critical right now?
Some of the other panel members or participants are likely to be maybe a city official from Oakland and/or SF; architects, GCs, and/or engineers already working on cannabis projects; possibly a cannabis business owner who has successfully navigated the process; potentially a commercial real estate broker or developer working specifically with cannabis investment properties; maybe even an Oakland-based impact investor investing in cannabis and how that might connect to Equity applicants.
We are looking at a time early October, probably early evening or maybe a Saturday time slot. We are still working out the details; this letter to (hopefully!) pique your interest and ask you to join the conversation.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this long email! I'd really love to hear from you if you have curiosity about the topic or experience and expertise to share with us.