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Chicago Entrepreneurs Start Real Estate Platform for Marijuana Industry

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Chicago entrepreneurs are working on a new web service that would allow those wanting to enter into the cultivation and dispensing sectors of the marijuana industry to find prime locations. HerbFront started its development stages in late 2015. The website will help commercial property owners to market directly to marijuana industry businesses.

The business model also shows that those looking for real estate specifically for marijuana industry businesses can search the database, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. Strict zoning regulations exist for marijuana businesses in Illinois. HerbFront’s property listings will comply with state regulations, ensuring that the offered properties are within the necessary zoning restrictions in place.

HerbFront founder Matt Chapdelaine said, “Ninety-five percent of properties aren’t zoned right.”

The idea for HerbFront surfaced two years ago when a marijuana dispensary owner offered to pay above market rates for a property. That offer was ultimately turned down. HerbFront plans to launch publicly in early 2017.

This will be a fee-based service. Those wanting to offer properties for sale or lease will pay $50 per listing. Users will pay a $100 monthly fee to be aware of the available properties for marijuana businesses.

To start, HerbFront co-founders Matt Chapdelaine and Alan O’Connell sacrificed 6 percent stake of their company to participate in ElmSpring’s 90-day mentoring and accelerator program. ElmSpring is an investment firm based in Chicago. Taking the course was an effort to seek funding for their new venture. HerbFront was one of only 5 companies chosen by ElmSpring at the time.