NEW YORK (MainStreet) — In Michigan, criminal lawyer Matthew Herman has turned his background representing cannabis clients into a new enterprise. He has transformed a former warehouse space in an undisclosed area of Grand Rapids into a secure grow area for cannabis caregivers. For $4,000 a month, tenants of "Cannabis Solutions" get a secure room, plus the costs of their electricity, to grow medical cannabis. Each room in the 12,000 foot facility has a sink and electric outlets for grow lights.
As a defense attorney, Herman has represented many clients who become unfairly enmeshed in what he calls confusing state regulations enshrined under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. This is Herman's attempt to change things, while creating a cannabis-safe oasis for growers afraid of intrusions from both police and potential robbers.
As strange as this may seem, in fact, this is a growing phenomenon in every state with a burgeoning cannabis business space -- with all the attendant updated and tweaked regulations.
According to Olivia Mannix at Cannabrand, a Colorado-based branding company, "Here in Colorado there have been warehouses and secured growing for a while. First for MMJ dispensaries to grow product, and now at a much higher rate for the recreational market. This is a trend we see increasingly growing and there is a need for it."
David Goldstein, the co-founder of High Securities, a new video surveillance and security company specializing in cannabis companies believes that "warehoused secure growing is the future of the cannabis industry." Goldstein suggests that such infrastructure is actually crucial in establishing a compliant vertical if not oversight of new regs.
"Rather than protecting from police intrusion, the future model of cannabis is one where local government agencies have access/limited access to the grower's security infrastructure," he said. "This level of transparency and compliance helps growers by proving that they are working with the local government creating a higher level of trust between local governments and growers."
Whether a trend or industry-shaping phenom, the move toward secured grow spaces also comes at a time when the entire marijuana sector is also being faced with bottom-line expenses that are a mixture of state regulations if not local grow conditions. In many states, including Nevada and New York, legal growers are facing required indoor grow requirements as well as unsustainable energy and water costs. In all western states where outdoor crops are more established, federal water restrictions have made this a more daunting if not expensive proposition. Moving into a pre-engineered grow facility, where canna-farmers can lease not only space but also highly efficient grow architecture they could not afford to construct on their own, is also a driver in the increasing popularity of such cannabis-grow enterprises.
As Goldstein said, "the added benefit to growers that use secure warehouse growing is that many of the analytics they capture such as humidity and light levels can be controlled and improved upon in the controlled setting of an indoor grow."
In Michigan, one thing is for certain. Herman's idea has legs. The concept is so popular that he has already filled the facility with tenants and has a long waiting list of others waiting for the creation of the next one.