Capital Planning: Lessons from the NCIA Summit

How to Spend Capital Wisely When Developing Your Cultivation & Processing Operations


The panelists shared secrets to cannabis facility design that save time and allow production to start faster. The result is a clear path, no surprises or wasted effort.

Overall: Less budget required for building, a quicker time to production, and on-time delivery.


Here are some top takeaways from the panel:


You’re in manufacturing.”

Cannabis cultivation must be addressed for what it is — an industrial-agricultural manufacturing process. Hiring a commercial builder to start a design-build process for a cannabis facility with a non-industrial approach is a sure path to spending more time and money in the long run. An industrial design / build approach will set you up for a successful project.

why capital planning

Go slow to go fast.”

Spending time on the front end saves time and money during construction and build out. Front end loading — with a clear scope and schedule — avoids a big mess during construction. Control risk >  Increase rate of success.

A 1-hour consultation with engineers on the front end saved one client at least $1 million in buildout because of the electrical configuration.



The client had planned to build out in one section of a 200k sq ft facility. When the engineers were brought in, they noticed during a site visit that a different area was already at spec for electrical needs while the other area was not. Moving the build out area kept the client from spending  $1 million on new electrical installation. They spent $50k on engineers, but saved $1 million in construction.


Q & A:

Q:  What does “CGMP” mean?

A:  “CGMP” is an acronym for “Current Good Manufacturing Practices” regulations enforced by the FDA. At it’s simplest, CGMP involves a cleanable space and a repeatable process — harvest after harvest.



Jay Czarkowski, Moderator

Brian Anderson, AIA Architect, Anderson Porter Design

Adam Campbell, PE – Engineer, Century 3, Inc.

cannabis business expo attendees


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