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  • Arizona Contractor & Community

A Profitable Cannabis Operation Begins by Making Smart Construction Choices

"When we found out that a cannabis project was in an enterprise zone and realized that one of our clients could obtain all of the materials tax free, we immediately went back to our client and said: 'We're going to rebate all of this money to you.' We saved our client over a quarter of a million dollars that they would never have known about if we didn't bring it to their attention, and they would never have been the beneficiary," said Andy Poticha, a principal of Cannabis Facility Construction (CFC), during his interview with Tom Howard, host of his popular, "Cannabis Legalization News" podcast.

Poticha, weighing in on the rapid rise in states approving both medicinal and recreational cannabis, told Howard that, "At this point, with the requirements of medicinal dispensaries and growth in the recreational side, it presents many challenges as everybody's figuring this out as we go because the industry is so new."

Poticha referenced Illinois, which recently adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. CFC, headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, which not only has done work in that state but nationally as well, has 27 projects in eight states built and in process covering 307,802 square feet.

"What is the most fascinating part about the cannabis business is working with processors and growers," he said. "I equate them really to chefs in a restaurant. They know what they want to get out at the end of the day, and they're going to tell us what conditions that we have to account for in order for them to be able to produce the products that they actually know that they can. It's for us to figure out how to do that with equipment that's out there, with engineers that are out there," said Poticha.

According to Poticha, "We are very different in our approach to how we look at our clients. We have always been client-centric, and what that means is that we want our clients to look at us as their design-build partners. The way we have been set up from the inception of our business has lent itself to that type of relationship in that we look at every project not as a one- time project or how much money we can make. If we're truly going to be partners with our clients, we need to have some skin in the game, so we're going to be offering them our process and our intellectual property and we're going to say that the project's going to take this long and our fee is going to be a stipulated sum based on how long that's going to take.

"Our clients understand that we now have an incentive to finish their projects in a timely manner in the time that we've agreed to, but just as importantly, we have the incentive to make sure that our client is getting the most bang for their buck without us having the incentive of trying to sell them something more," said Poticha.

The design-build firm is unique in that it renovates existing buildings and converts them to dispensaries, cultivation facilities and processing centers. This reduces building costs, start-up times, and expands innovation.

For more information, please visit Cannabis Facility Construction at or call 847.504.0177.

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