Cannabis real estate in Illinois gets push from REIT IIP, 4Front Ventures
On Thursday, 4Front Ventures, a Canadian listed, integrated cannabis grower and multi-state retailer, announced that it has successfully closed Phase I of a multiphase real estate expansion project to build a 558,000 sq. ft. indoor cannabis cultivation and production facility in Matteson, Illinois, just outside Chicago. The project is being backed by Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP), a NYSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on industrial agriculture properties for the regulated cannabis industry.
The company says Phase 1 of the expansion will create 240 livable wage jobs in the Matteson region with construction expected to be complete in Q4 2022; and Phase 2 is anticipated to add an additional 300,000 sq. ft. of building and another 260 jobs.
4Front says it will use the facility to produce its more than 20 in-house brands and 2,000 products, which will be offered to Illinois customers at an accessible price point at its Mission Dispensaries and partner dispensaries across Illinois. The site will also produce various white-labeled products, including flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, gel capsules and other manufactured products for other multi-state operators, cannabis businesses and brands.
“I want to thank Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois State Senator Michael Hastings, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and the Bureau of Economic Development, Cook County Assessor’s Office, Village of Matteson President Sheila Chalmers-Currin and the Board of Trustees, as well as her economic development team, Intersect Illinois, World Business Chicago, Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Will/Cook Enterprise Zone and our partner, IIP, for being tremendous partners of ours in this project,” said 4Front Chief Executive Officer Leo Gontmakher. “With this announcement, we mark the beginning of a multi-phase expansion project to create the largest cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility in Illinois, one of the country’s fastest growing cannabis markets.
“The sheer size of this next-generation facility will allow us to meet growing consumer demands. It will also broaden the reach of our innovative, low-cost cultivation and manufacturing methodologies and suite of brands of products while creating jobs and new streams of tax revenue for both Matteson, Cook County and the State of Illinois. As we continue to expand our footprint in Illinois, we believe this Facility will continue to drive growth and added value for the community, as well as our customers and shareholders,” Gontmakher said.
“4Front Ventures’ development will bring more than 500 hundred well-paying jobs to our community while broadening our region’s economy, which we believe will pay big dividends for years to come,” said Matteson Village President Sheila Chalmers-Currin. “This facility will provide opportunities for agricultural positions and create opportunities for many in a new industry, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with 4Front.”
“Early last year we convened leaders throughout the region to develop the city’s COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce study. Through this work we came to appreciate the city’s tremendous regional network. We were pleased to help see 4Front Ventures find a location that meets their goals by connecting them to a neighboring community,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO of World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. “The 4Front Ventures development is an example of our region’s many business and industry strengths, as well, our united commitment to economic recovery and beyond.”
Illinois, the 11th state to legalize cannabis for adult-use, began permitting adult-use cannabis sales at the beginning of last year. In this first year of adult-use sales, Illinois’ regulated cannabis sales were more than $1.0 billion in 2020, including $669 million in adult-use sales and more than $366 million in medical-use sales. Last month alone, Illinois adult-use cannabis dispensaries generated more than $116 million in sales (excluding medical cannabis sales), according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. For the first time, in the first quarter of 2021, Illinois’ tax revenues from regulated cannabis sales surpassed tax revenues from liquor sales.