Back in January, Los Angeles-based Greenway University announced its intention to build the "premier worldwide medical marijuana training facility" in Denver, with CEO and founder Gus Escamilla predicting that the whole she-bang would be up and running in sixty to ninety days.
More than three months later, Greenway's in great financial shape, having just acquired $2 million in venture capital for the Denver market -- half from Trilogy Investors, half from a Minneapolis restaurateur acting as an angel investor. But that facility is still in the conceptual stage because of an unexpected problem.
According to Escamilla, Greenway can't find a landlord willing to work with them.
"We had been working with a landlord in Denver for the past three weeks," he notes. "Then, yesterday, he got back to us, saying, 'We're not interested in your usage.'"
Greenway reps have been running into this mindset for months, particularly in regard to large facilities -- ones in the 25,000 to 30,000 square foot range. Given these difficulties, Escamilla says, GU has scaled back its ambitions, seeking buildings boasting between 12,000 and 18,000 square feet. Landlords with properties in this category have been marginally more receptive, he feels, but nothing has worked out thus far -- and Escamilla is mystified why not.
"Some of these places haven't had an offer in over a year," he points out. "We came in and gave them above-market rents. We were very fair and reasonable. And you would think, with them losing money monthly, and with us coming in to add to the economy and create jobs, they'd want to work with us. But they don't see it."
Escamilla hopes these vision difficulties will be improved by the passage of medical marijuana regulatory bills like HB 1284, which the Senate passed on second reading yesterday, and SB 109, pertaining to the relationship between doctors and medical marijuana patients.
"They're excellent for the industry regardless of if we agree with everything in those bills," he says. "They'll establish some framework to work off of and push our compliance message forward. And they'll allow us to get our cultivation and certification courses out there."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Moreover, the passage of state laws may reassure squeamish landlords that they won't find themselves in the middle of a criminal prosecution if they make a deal with Greenway. The school's investors "love the approach we're taking to this industry," Escamilla maintains. "They see it as a sustainable and viable model to carry things forward."
Until then, the folding type of green may not be enough to convince property owners worried about the smokable kind.
Look below for Greenway's release about its new cash infusion:
Greenway University Secures $2 Million in Venture Capital & Private Investments For Continued Expansion of Multi-Spectrum Medical Marijuana Business Venture Capital Funding Proves the Legitimacy and Power of Greenway University's Breadth of Services
Denver, CO -- May 5, 2010 -- A nationally expanding medical marijuana organization, Greenway University, has received $1 million in venture capital from Trilogy Partners and $1 million from an angel investor in the month of April.
Greenway University is renowned for its compliance driven medical marijuana business administration educational services in California, Colorado and New Jersey. To become the nations leading driver of compliance in the medical marijuana industry, the organization covers nearly every aspect of the business ranging from genetic strain development, insurance services to merchant solutions that ensure compliance and the highest quality of operational standards.
"Greenway University has a fundamental commitment to set the benchmark in the medical marijuana industry for professionalism, integrity and technological innovation," said Gustavo Escamilla, Greenway University President and CEO.
Greenway University embraces and educates to all state regulations and compliance standards ensuring our students enter the market with knowledge, empowerment and ethics. We are developing everything the industry is so desperately in need of in order to ensure any and every medical marijuana related organization nation-wide is driven by compliance and deep-rooted patient care ethics."
With the current proposed passage of Senate Bill 109 and HB 1284 in the state of Colorado as well as the state of New Jersey drafting their owned proposed regulations, Greenway University is uniquely positioned to bring standardization, systemization and validation to the industry.
The investments made to Greenway University in April will enable the organization to continue to set the highest standards in education, technology, cultivation, distribution and compliance as the industry continues to expand and evolve.
About Greenway University
Greenway University is the industries leading multi-spectrum medical marijuana business that is committed to the highest standards in education, technology, cultivation, distribution and compliance. From its MBA and industry leading advanced certification programs to its turnkey, point-of-sale system which tracks medicine from seed to sale, to its in-house botanist and geneticist, Greenway University is paving the way for ethics, safety and business acumen in the medical marijuana industry. Based in Los Angeles, California, Greenway University has campuses in Colorado and California. More information can be found at www.greenwayuniversity.com.