As a real estate broker, Matt Chapdelaine watched a marijuana dispensary get turned down for a property lease even after offering to pay a landlord above-market rates. That’s when the light went on. “You can find brokers and consultants for everything except for this,” Chapdelaine said. With co-founder Alan O’Connell, Chapdelaine created HerbFront, legal cannabis property listing site.
After securing $20,000 in seed money from startup accelerator Elmspring in exchange for a six percent equity cut, HerbFront launched in January of this year. The Elmspring accelerator is a three-month program that takes startups from concept to commercialization, with seed capital, work space and the help of a network of mentors and professional services.
Elmspring CEO Thomas Bretz said earlier this year, “When I first heard about HerbFront, I must admit it sounded peculiar. But reading their business plan, seeing the technology and getting to know Alan and Matt makes me a believer. In the cannabis industry, there is a great deal of confusion about how to start a business, specifically because of real estate issues.”
HerbFront’s primary feature is a real estate mapping technology platform. The company caters to those looking to sell a qualifying property as well as those searching for real estate to launch their cannabis business.
Seizing on the community the company has cultivated, HerbFront just launched a new division meant to expand opportunities for those interested in securing capital, lending or investing in the cannabis space. The division’s primary focus is on asset-based lending against real estate and some equipment, such as what might be used in a manufacturing facility for cannabis edibles.
“HerbFront’s proprietary mapping technology gives us the first look at dispensaries and cultivation centers about to hit the market,” explained Chapdelaine. “That puts us in a unique position to offer these vital services that come along with being .”
Accessing capital can be difficult in the cannabis space, as business owners can’t get typical bank debt from a FDIC-insured banking institution and hard money lenders can be very expensive. “When it comes to financing your dispensary, manufacturing, or cultivation facility, HerbFront Capital Advisors give you access to leading lenders in the cannabis real estate industry so you can continue to grow your business with the least expensive capital available,” said Chapdelaine.
HerbFront Capital has historical real estate and operational data for more than 6,000 state regulated cannabis facilities nationwide— with new listings being added daily.
Currently 23 states allow marijuana to be prescribed by physicians to treat end-of-life illness and chronic conditions like glaucoma. In addition, 4 states, as well as Washington D.C., allow the legal sale of recreational marijuana. In several other states, pro-legalization groups are well organized and there are groups pushing for legalization at the federal level.