San Francisco Business Times

Oakland pot-cultivation center could produce more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana a year

By Riley McDermid

The Newport Beach-based cannabis company Terra Tech has signed a lease for a cannabis-cultivation complex in Oakland, which could be completed as soon as September.

The massive 13,000-square-foot building industrial site will be located near the Oakland Airport off of Hegenberger Road — and could produce as much as a metric tonne, or 2,200 pounds, of marijuana a year, Terra Tech said. The complex will have a greenhouse to grow the company's proprietary strains.

“This new facility will bring scale to our cannabis production capacity,” Derek Peterson, Terra Tech’s chief executive officer, told the Mercury-News.“We expect our expanded capacity to drive sales of our IVXX premium cannabis products in California, which is our leading market, as demand continues to strengthen.”

California legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in November, and now allows adults 21 or older to grow as many as six plants at home and possess an ounce of pot at a time. But more importantly to the state, the new law is expected to rake in $1 billion in taxes once marijuana-related businesses receive their licenses and begin operating. The state is the world's largest black market for weed production and cultivation.

Terra Tech made inroads in the Bay Area market when it bought Oakland retail medical cannabis dispensary Blum Oakland for undisclosed terms in 2016. At the time, Blum was pulling in $14 million a year in revenue, a buy that helped push Terra Tech’s revenue up to $20.4 million for fiscal year 2016.

“We built on our experience from previous designs and projects to streamline this construction process as we expand our capacity to meet the burgeoning demand in the emergent cannabis industry,” Salwa Ibrahim, executive director of Blum Oakland, told the paper.

But the two companies have experienced some growing pains: Although Terra Tech brought in revenue of $20.4 million for the 12 months ended in September, it also lost $17.1 million during the same period, as the company reinvested in its infrastructure and equipment.

Katelyn Petersonbatch-1, 2017