Best practices: a construction checklist for cannabis companies

If you are about to embark upon a construction project for a facility in the cannabis space, success often depends upon proper planning. Below is a checklist of strategic advice you should consider to achieve a successful construction project, including some specific suggestions applicable to cannabis companies.

1. Have you reviewed any applicable regulatory deadlines to complete your project, and are those deadlines considered in your construction contracts?
☐Yes ☐No
If a construction project is tied to a newly issued license, there may be regulatory requirements to become operational within a specified time period.

2. Have you obtained all requisite approvals, including, without limitation, regulatory approvals, to enable you to undertake your project, or is obtaining those approvals built into your construction timeline and contracts?
☐Yes ☐No
In the cannabis space, it may not be possible to obtain all necessary regulatory approvals prior to entering into a contract, so proper planning is important.

3. Have you identified a design team and an experienced construction team that will enable you to build out the project on time and on budget, and does that construction team have specific experience in the cannabis space?
☐Yes ☐No
Experience is often key to achieving a successful construction project.

4. Have you identified a procurement method for the design and construction of the project?
☐Yes ☐No
By planning ahead, you can save time and money.

5. Have you created a realistic budget with the corresponding financing, taking into account any regulatory approvals required for new investors?
☐Yes ☐No
Wishful thinking doesn’t go far when a bill comes due.

6. Have you identified internal personnel with the requisite experience to deal with the team of design and construction professionals in a regulated industry?
☐Yes ☐No
Having a designated point person encourages meaningful communication.

7. Have you set realistic expectations as to the schedule for the design and construction of the project while considering any applicable regulatory deadlines?
☐Yes ☐No
Setting sensible goals often means subsequent planning and implementation will be cost-effective.

8. Have you consulted risk management professionals, internally or externally, who can provide timely advice as to the types and amounts of insurance required for each entity?
☐Yes ☐No
Obtaining insurance for property damage and personal injury can be difficult for cannabis companies since there are still a limited number of providers, so this process should be started early.

9. Have you strategically consulted legal counsel experienced with construction matters in a regulated industry so as to create contract documents that maximize the likelihood of success of the project?
☐Yes ☐No
Appropriately shifting risk where practical to the design and construction professionals can save a project down the line.

10. Have you brought together a team of professionals who understand all of your goals and know how to achieve them?
☐Yes ☐No
Proper planning will likely prevent cost overruns.

Cannabis companies must build and expand grow facilities and retail locations if they are to be successful, but both types of projects require timely performance in this time-sensitive industry. How an owner deals with issues that arise will often make or break a project.

For more information:
Fox Rothschild 

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