Growing pot in one of the world’s most insane real estate markets may not sound financially viable, but a pack of San Francisco cultivators are making it happen. But how does that work in the land of $3,000 studio apartments with a roommate? Does it make the pot more expensive?
We sat down with a longtime San Francisco cultivator to get his take on the trials of the marketplace and see if San Francisco’s famously high real estate prices cast their shadow on the manufacturing sectors that the city’s cultivators call home. For the last decade, Gold Seal’s Neil Dellacava has been providing the city top shelf indoor such as its famous Red Congolese.
Over a very San Francisco dinner that included sausages, vegan options and a pack of Black Russian Backwoods Dellacava broke it all down to Cannabis Now.
“I think the struggles that exist are everybody else’s struggles with the overall situation of taxes and stuff,” he said. “As far as growing in San Francisco, I think it’s as expensive as it is anywhere.”
Dellacava believes regardless of how hot any given real estate sector is in a municipality cannabis operators are always going to get fleeced the hardest by property owners.
One of the particular challenges though is balancing labor costs in San Francisco. Dellacava wants to pay staff enough to be able to live a decent quality of life in one of the world’s most offensively expensive real estate markets so they will produce a quality product. That means fewer hands on deck total.
But he does believe other things like power, packaging, and trimming are comparable. Even though he has to pay those trimmers city prices.
“We pay a high price to trim because we want good stuff,” he said. “Regardless, I’d pay that if I were in Adelanto or if I was here.”
Dellacava’s cultivation facility had been on the same footprint for years despite a rebuild. He believes he pays less per square foot for his space in San Francisco than most of the people attempting to open up shop in Sacramento area. Dellacava said the building department is tough, but that tends to be the case in most places.
“I would applaud San Francisco for actually being able to come up with a system to work with preexisting operators,” he said. “Many cities have failed at that, but San Francisco has to be applauded for getting all of us to the point where we are doing what we’re doing.”
As a result of forward thinking in the city, Dellacava felt like he had a permit in hand and peace of mind earlier than most operators he knew.
Dellacava said the new faces of San Francisco are not only dealing with sketch landlords likely, but have to deal with a whole new regulatory beast of a licensing program different from the hoops Gold Seal and the other preexisting operators had to jump through.
But how much room is there to even get your foot in the door of San Francisco’s cultivation market right now?
“I think that would be really challenging,” Dellacava said.
The deal for preexisting operators in San Francisco was for the building they already had. If Gold Seal wanted to acquire another facility they would have to face the rigors of the general applicant pool.
TELL US, have you ever smoked any weed that was cultivated in San Francisco?