New Jersey’s newly launched cannabis industry is moving forward, but, like many markets established in the past two years, real estate remains a massive factor that has presented setbacks from several companies. Whether commercial or industrial, cannabis businesses have been seeking real estate opportunities to expand operations within the state.
Cannabis real estate company Innovative Industrial Properties is making leeway by acquiring a new piece of real estate in New Jersey, Cannabis Business Times reports. The $35.4 million purchase marked the beginning of a long-term lease with Ascend Wellness Holdings in New Jersey, which will be at the forefront of converting the land into a cultivating and processing space. Under the Innovative Industrial Properties umbrella, the new property is 114,000-square-foot, and Ascend Wellness will be responsible for its renovations. Innovative Industrial promised a $4.6 million reimbursement for repairs and improvements. In total, Innovative Industrial will be shelling out upwards of $40M for the investment, though there’s more up their sleeves. Ascend Wellness is also planning to carve out its lane further in the New Jersey cannabis market by the end of 2023 with an even more significant expansion, including a lab, kitchen, and 150,000 square foot canopy.
Innovative Industrial Properties became a pillar in cannabis real estate as the first company on the New York Stock Exchange to focus on the marijuana business in the United States. Over the past few years, they’ve capitalized on state-level legalization in other states like Illinois, Michigan, and Massachusetts. They currently own and operate three properties in each state, which leases to Ascend Wellness. Now, they’ve acquired enough property, boasting an estimated value of $179.75 million.
President and CEO at Innovative Industrial Properties, Paul Smithers, appears ecstatic about his company’s growing collaborative efforts with Ascend. The two companies forged a business partnership in 2018, which has expanded since. Smithers praised the business’ commitment to “delivering the highest quality cannabis products and services to their patients and customers,” as well as bringing incredible strategies to further their footprint in the industry across the country.
The key to Ascend Wellness’ growth and success over the years is bringing high-end quality cannabis for recreational and medical users across the country. They’ve set up operations in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts with upwards of 1,5000 employees. Its Ozone brand is a staple among its cannabis-related products in these states with regulated markets. Under Ascend Wellness branch, they’ve earned multiple awards for their crops grown in top-of-the-line facilities and packaged in airtight glass jars for optimal freshness. Ascend currently has two dispensaries in New Jersey, with another one set to open in Fort Lee later this spring.
There’s no doubt that Innovative Industrial Properties have helped boost Ascend Wellness’ visibility in the cannabis industry through real estate. The expansion of their businesses across select states has transformed their operations to produce mass amounts of quality strains and products. Abner Kurtin, CEO and co-founder of Ascend, said that their working relationship with Innovative Industrial Properties has helped “deliver optimal real estate capital solutions that have been instrumental in driving our expansion.”
“With IIP’s partnership, we look forward to significantly enhancing our production capacity in New Jersey and bringing our award-winning products and exceptional service to patients and customers throughout the state,” said Kurtin.
New Jersey became a hot spot for the legal industry in the past year, despite criticism surrounding the lack of diversity. IIP has three facilities for cultivation and processing in the state and another dispensary in New Jersey. From its expansion in the medical program to the recent adoption of adult-use regulations, it is fruitful for Innovative Industrial Properties. IIP boasts 7.9 million rentable square space in California, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Colorado, FloridaMinnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Massachusetts. With an additional $2.1 billion committed to its portfolio, the company has commitments to put its money behind future construction and renovations for its tenants.