Cash Crop Today 420 Real Properties Interview with Matthew Thompson

The company 420 Real Properties specializes in finding 420 friendly, commercial cannabis properties for lease and purchase. Their company offers listing services for property owners as well as property search services for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and testing professionals. Their clientele generally consists of seasoned industry veterans, entrepreneurs, and new business owners who are seeking real estate opportunities in the marijuana industry.

Whether you are looking to lease or buy a property for your expanding business in the marijuana industry, or would like to lease your space to one of our vetted, professional clients, 420 Real Properties are committed to taking care of your needs.


1) What was the motivating factor in you founding 420 Real Properties? Was your team involved in commercial real estate before the company’s inception?

Our President and Broker, Paul Thompson, has nearly 40 years of real estate experience and had actually retired before we started the company. Then, a friend of his came to him, explained that he was starting a cannabis manufacturing company and needed a space. Fortunately, Paul had kept his license current and was able to help him secure the real estate he needed. After seeing the need for experienced real estate professionals serving the industry, Paul came out of retirement and started the company.

I on the other hand have a background in writing ad copy and building marketing campaigns. So, when Paul told me about the opportunity to help an underserved and rapidly-growing industry of cannabis professionals, I was excited to be a part of it.

He and I became partners near the end of 2016 and we’ve grown to our current team of 6. As a result, our team has been able to strategically approach the difficult process of finding properly-zoned properties that also meet state and city requirements, explaining ordinance details to owners and agents in order to convince them to accept a cannabis-use tenant, sharing details about our clients’ unique business needs, and negotiating fair prices for leases for a substantial number of our clients. It’s been a fulfilling and exciting process.


2) Can 420 Real Properties offer locations to future clients for indoor cultivation, outdoor cultivation, manufacturing, and retail?

Due to the nature of Southern California cannabis ordinances, very few cities allow outdoor or mixed-light cultivation. Because we search specifically for our clients’ needs, we mainly focus on spaces for retail (both storefront and delivery), indoor cultivation, volatile and non-volatile manufacturing, testing, distribution and microbusiness uses.


3) Most commonly, what are the types of properties listed on your website? In your experience, which ones are bought and sold the most?

We focus more on leasing spaces than selling them as nearly all of our clients are looking for a space to start their business without spending several Million on the real estate prior to producing a product.

While we have helped clients secure retail space, the most common uses we satisfy are indoor cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution. 


4) Have you seen a spike in listed cannabis related properties since California opened its doors to recreational cannabis?

Not much. Our team of Location Coordinators, the individuals in our office who spend roughly 80 hours each week searching for suitable properties, connecting with owners and agents, checking compliance and coordinating with legal compliance firms, are still facing the same objections to having a cannabis-use tenant in a space.

We address those concerns by ensuring that every one of our clients is vetted, aware of the costs associated with starting a business in this industry, has the financials to afford the space they’re pursing and is able to share their business plan with a prospective owner and agent. And, even with all of our due diligence, most owners are still very hesitant. It’s a time-consuming
and pretty arduous process.


5) How does 420 Real Properties go about sourcing listed properties for sale or rent?

We’ve built fantastic relationships with agents throughout Southern California over the last couple years and they consistently refer us suitable properties.

In addition to those, we spend about 80 hours every week solely on searching for properties that a. meet our clients’ specific criteria, b. are appropriately zoned within cities that will allow legal cannabis businesses to operate, c. meet with city and California state guidelines, and d. are controlled by owners who are willing and excited to welcome a cannabis business into their space. 


6)Do you find most of the properties listed with your company to have been home to past companies involved in the cannabis sector?

Because the industry is so new, there haven’t been an abundance of established cannabis businesses in Southern California so it’s pretty rare that we find a professionally built-out, compliant space.

99% of the time, are clients are the first legal cannabis business occupants. And, we are always excited to hear that their businesses have received or are in the process of receiving CUP’s or licenses. 


7) Are the properties listed on your website compliant within the states legislation? Does 420 Real Properties offer services to make sure your clients properties are compliant?

Every property we share with our clients goes through a rigorous process of confirming that it is located within the correct zone for cannabis use in each city and meets city and state guidelines. And, we always recommend that each client brings in a third-party compliance team to ensure that the space will work for his or her business.

Our main focus is helping our clients secure the real estate they need so we have a network of compliance firms and attorneys with whom we recommend working. This second step offers a fresh pair of eyes and additional checks and balances to ensure that our clients are in the best possible position before leasing a space.


8) What are some of the cannabis-specific financing options for companies looking for a business loan to purchase a property or piece of land?

We have a network of lenders who are excited to work with professional cannabis operators. In the past, our clients have received up to 60% loan to value at very competitive interest rates and have been able to secure the spaces they need.

In addition, some of those lenders also offer essential options like start-up cost lending so an operator can afford to get through the licensing process, build out his or her space and begin producing a profit before running out of funds.


9) Does 420 Real Properties have current plans to expand their listings outside of Southern California?

For the last year or so, our main area of focus has been Los Angeles and its surrounding cities. While we were looking in other Souther California cities, our clients weren’t really interested in going elsewhere. But, with the delays in LA’s licensing process, it is in the best interest of some of our clients to consider other cities.

Recently we opened up our search radius to include all Southern California cities that will enable a cannabis business to start their application process immediately. Whether it’s the San Fernando Valley, Inland Empire, LA County, Orange County or San Diego County, we are working to help entrepreneurs secure the space they need wherever we can.

We’re keeping our finger on the pulse of surrounding cities’ legislature and will continue to help our clients secure the space they need anywhere in Southern California.


10) What is the best way to get more information about the services you offer? How can cannabis entrepreneurs get rated with 420 Real Properties?

Anyone looking to secure space for a cannabis business, lease their space to a cannabis tenant, sell an existing cannabis business, or secure financing in Southern California can call or email us at 949-916-0022 x407 or

We will be happy to answer any questions they have and encourage interested entrepreneurs to schedule a free consultation with Paul to see if we are a good fit for their needs.


Cash Crop Today would like to extend a special thanks to 420 Real Properties!