The cannabis industry is rising—fast. Legalization has opened doors for businesses unlike we’ve never seen. While grow facilities, dispensaries, and cannabis retail are all obviously prevalent sectors of the emerging industry, there are plenty of ancillary businesses, which serve as complementary, yet vital components of the cannabis business.
“Ancillary exists in every industry,”Grass Pass founder Simeon Schnapper said to LA weekly. “Some might argue that ancillary is bigger than the core thing anyway.”
In the emerging industry predicted by some to be worth over $75 billion by the year 2030, there is no shortage of complementary businesses in the making. One of the most creative, and frankly, unprecedented ancillary businesses is set to hit this August: a cannabis coworking space. And two companies already have the leg up.
A Cannabis Coworking Space Will Soon Be A Thing
According to a report on Curbed.com two cannabis coworking spaces will be opening in the L.A. region. Paragon Space, a four-story co-working space in Hollywood, is set to open in late August of this year. Green Street, a 67,000 square foot office space in the Jewelry District, will be opening in November.
“This is really an emerging industry, and I think LA is going to be the headquarters of cannabis in America,” Sean Beddoe, the lead developer for Green Street, said to Curbed. “The Starbucks of the cannabis industry hasn’t been created yet.”
Both Paragon Space and Green Street will be similar, from a business-model standpoint, to popular coworking spaces WeWork and Alley. Like the other two, hey will focus on startup businesses, especially those in the tech, marketing and business development sectors. In fact, no growing or retail components will be allowed in the workplace. Other than the fact that it’s geared towards ancillary cannabis startups (and that its tenants can smoke a joint in their offices), the workspace will be similar to the aforementioned non-cannabis coworking spaces.
“There isn’t a 4/20 theme anywhere,” says Jessica VerSteeg, CEO of ParagonCoin, the parent company of Paragon Space. “It’s whiteboards, desks, and all the same amenities as any other startup space. But here, you know that everybody knows the industry, and could be a potential partner.”
Little Risk Involved
A few years ago, opening a shared workspace that you could smoke in would be considered ludicrous. However, due to the lax weed-laws, it is now more than a possiblity—it’s a good idea. At least, according to Matt Karnes, a financial analyst with GreenWave advisors.
“As time goes on, the political risk of investing in pot is subsiding,” says Karnes. “If the Trump administration was going to do anything, it would have already. That’s putting more institutional investors at ease, and they’re starting to open their eyes and look at businesses in the cannabis and tech space, anything ancillary to the plant-handling part of the industry.”
According to the Curbed report, while cannabis businesses are sometimes forced to pay much higher rates than traditional businesses, this won’t be the case with Green Street and Paragon Space. The two businesses are expected to be competitive with non-cannabis workspaces like WeWork. Although, we’re sure plenty of us would have no issue payning extra to smoke a doobie at work.