In November of 2012, Washington Initiative 502 appeared on the general ballot and passed by a margin of approximately 56 to 44. This initiative opened up the marijuana industry to entrepreneurs in the state of Washington. I-502 mandated that rules for producers, processors, and retailers be in place by December 1, 2013. The first generation of entrepreneurs is currently experiencing the “growing pains” common in a new industry as they develop business models appropriate under state law for growing facilities, processing plants, and retail stores. The state currently has approximately 160 operating stores generating gross revenues of over $1.4 million per day, according to the Liquor and Cannabis Board. On the grow side, crop yields continue to increase. It is anticipated in 2016 the marijuana crop harvested will be between 15 – 20 tons. Increased production & retail stores has had a positive impact for consumers on the price of product according to the Liquor and Cannabis Board with the average price per gram dropping over 50% during the last year. The impact of the legalization of marijuana in Washington has also had an economic impact on industries ranging from manufacturing to tourism. It is impossible to estimate the economic & societal impact this legislation will have on the people of Washington over time. However, it is known fact it will be significant.
IBA professionals already have leading edge, industry specific knowledge & experience in this industry through participation in projects in Colorado and we are confident that like in many other industries our brokers will emerge as the market leaders in terms of knowledge and professionalism for entrepreneurs wishing to sell their businesses or grow by acquisition in the marijuana industry. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with any entrepreneurs in this space that would like to discuss selling a first generation business, leasing or acquiring real estate for this specialized use, or staging a business for future sale. IBA has a long history of successfully facilitating transactions in emerging industries where entrepreneurs are battling at a high velocity for market share & racing to perfect business models that will create competitive advantages.