What does this mean for the roofing business?
Politics and social opinions aside, a business is a business. The cannabis cultivation industry is growing rapidly as the federal and state deregulation of medical marijuana increases every year. To date, 25 states including Washington D.C. have passed laws allowing the prescription-based use of medical marijuana. Accompanying the rise in legalization is the demand for construction and development of cultivation manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and testing labs. By 2020, the overall U.S. marijuana market is projected to exceed $22 billion, an evaluation that is expected to inflate tremendously in 2017. Due to the advancements in agricultural technology, cannabis can be grown indoors year round. Cultivation facilities are growing by the hundreds throughout the U.S. in order to service the demand of nearly 1.5 million prescribed medical marijuana patients.
With an infant industry comes an opportunity for new jobs, urban/rural development and prime real estate for construction companies and roofing manufacturers. Facilities can vary in size, ranging from a small retail distribution center to a 1 million sq. ft. cannabis-business park. This is only the beginning—hundreds of cultivation facilities are forecasted to break ground in 2017. In fact, AmeriCann, a leader in medical cannabis cultivation facility design, is contracted to begin construction on a 53-acre project in Freetown, Massachusetts in early March of this year. The company said in a statement that it “will set a new cannabis industry standard for energy efficiency, cost control and clean cultivation practices…”
There are, however, a few setbacks overshadowing the industry that could prove detrimental to the business development and acquisition of cultivation facilities by roofing manufacturers.The North/East Roofing Contractors Association published an article discussing the expanding cannabis market and stated, “Federally regulated banks have been disallowed from doing business with the fledgling industry, which includes even investing in commercial construction where a dispensary may reside.” For the roofing industry, this regulation is immensely troublesome; without support from the banks, there is a lack of funding and capital; without funding and capital, construction is hindered and the waiting game begins.
The construction and roofing industry is hopeful however, since it is expected that full legalization is on the forefront in coming years. In the meantime, it is important that roofing contractors stay up-to-date on federal legislation changes, industry news and prospective target market segments. According to expert economic forecasters, 2017 will be a pivotal year in the development of both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries throughout the U.S.
What are your thoughts on the cannabis cultivation facility industry and their potential effects on roofing businesses? Tell us about them in the comments!
This blog post was written by a Seaman Corporation intern, Dalton Ulm. Dalton is a Public Relations and Strategic Communications major at Miami University. Learn more about Dalton and his work.