South Florida CBD Industry Welcomes New Regulatory Clarity

South Florida CBD Industry Welcomes New Regulatory Clarity

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2020 — The value of the CBD (cannabidiol) market is expected to surpass $20 billion globally by 2024 and Florida is taking steps to ensure it is well-positioned to take advantage of the market. But opening up a new industry to commercialization comes with teething problems and Palm Beach legislators may struggle to keep up.

 

 

 “We’re witnessing CBD maturing from a cannabis sub-category into a full-blown industry of its own,” said Roy Bingham, Co-Founder and CEO of BDS Analytics in a press release. “Our growth forecast for the CBD market, across all distribution channels, predicts a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent by 2024. This is a great opportunity for all involved, but it means the road ahead will include decisions that need to be informed by the best possible data.”

After CBD edibles were legalized in Canada in October 2019, companies selling these products are struggling to keep ahead of demand. But in Florida, it is legislators who are feeling the strain of regulating this new industry. Amendment 2 legalized CBD use for medical purposes in the state and the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-based CBD products federally. But Florida state legislation previously did not differentiate between marijuana (which contains THC) and hemp (which contains mostly CBD), meaning CBD products are simultaneously legal and illegal in Florida.

But on July 1, 2019, a new law took effect that allowed authorities to regulate CBD and hemp use. “Prior to these rules being adopted and taking effect, we didn’t have regulatory authority,” cannabis director at Florida’s Department of Agriculture Holly Bell told The News Service. “Now we do, and we have that up and going so that we can make sure consumers are protected.”

As a result, Palm Beach’s CBD industry is picking up speed. As part of the regulation, companies selling CBD products must apply for a permit that costs $650 per year. There already are a number of companies in Palm Beach County, including Curaleaf, Earth Florida, Nutrition World and Trulieve.

Zach Bader, co-founder of the USA CBD Expo held the conference in Miami Beach in May last year and told the Miami Herald that the South Florida market is brimming with potential. “There is a really high concentration of retail stores here that are either selling the product or are very interested in learning more,” he said. “We are seeing this industry start to percolate. A year ago, it wasn’t where it is today.” 

Bader applauded the efforts of state authorities to regulate the industry. “Whether you’re in the CBD industry or manufacturing Cheerios, you can’t go out there and make health claims without clinical trials. That’s a standard,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture headed by Nikki Fried is providing workshops to try to eliminate the uncertainty and harness a promising industry for the state. “Having that opportunity and allowing entrepreneurs to do what they do and start the research aspects is my vision for the state of Florida,” she said at the first workshop in Broward County.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://bdsanalytics.com/

https://www.fdacs.gov/

https://curaleaf.com/

https://www.earthflorida.com/

https://nutritionw.com/category/cbd-oil/

https://www.trulieve.com/

https://usacbdexpo.com/

 

Equestrian Festival Leads the 2020 Palm Beach Sports Charge

Equestrian Festival Leads the 2020 Palm Beach Sports Charge

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2020 — Horses are big business in Florida, which boasts the third-highest horse population nationwide behind only Texas and California. The state is home to half a million horses and the horse-riding industry pulls in an estimated $6.5 billion annually.

 

 This week, Palm Beach County welcomes the Winter Equestrian Festival – 12 weeks of elite competition ending on March 29. The contest attracts a diverse set, aged between 2 and 70, among them some of the most talented Olympians, adult amateurs, juniors and children from 52 countries. But many of these competitors have something in common: deep pockets.

The show-jumping prizes are often lucrative, and the Winter Equestrian Festival will award millions of dollars in total purse money to victors. But this is partly a reflection on the initial outlay to participate. “Only the wealthiest of families can afford to break into the sport. Today, prized horses can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of maintaining a horse can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars a month,” according to Business Insider.

The Equestrian Festival is not the only sporting event Palm Beach residents can look forward to this year. Coinciding with the festival is the Palm Beach International Polo Season, held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Although a typically exclusive sport, this festival offers fun for all budgets, with tickets starting at just $10. Also on offer for those who want to splash out are Champagne brunches, ride simulators and introductory lessons starting at $100 each.

Palm Beach County will also welcome another elite sport this month: the Gainbridge Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), with a purse of $2 million. Pro golfers are expected to descend on Palm Beach County to witness the three-day event beginning Jan. 23. “Expect the Olympics, expect to see the best young female golfers at the prime of their career, come from all over the world. We’ll have 29 different countries teeing it up here when we play in January,” Mike Whan, Commissioner of the LPGA told CBS 12 News.

Other sporting events in the first quarter include the start of baseball’s spring training. The World Series champion Washington National’s first spring training game will be against the Houston Astros, the team they faced in the World Series, on Feb. 22. Palm Beach County is proving it is entering the big leagues with this range of heavy-hitting events.

“We’re just trying to put a spotlight on this incredible run of sports that will impact Palm Beach County in so many ways. It’s great entertainment for our local residents in our community to a huge economic and tourism benefit that will be delivered through Palm Beach County through sports,” said George Linley, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, to CBS 12 News.

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.palmbeachsports.com/

https://www.lpga.com/

https://ipc.coth.com/

https://pbiec.coth.com/

 

Spotlight On: Michael Feuerman, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Berger Commercial Realty

Spotlight On: Michael Feuerman, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Berger Commercial Realty

By: Max Crampton-Thomas 

2 min read January 2020 — The commercial real estate market in Palm Beach County has drawn major interest and investment over the past several years. In 2019, the market has remained strong and looks to remain steadfast on this positive track into 2020. Invest: spoke with Michael Feuerman, senior vice president and managing director for Berger Commercial Realty’s Palm Beach Office, about what he has observed in the market over the last year and why the region has become so attractive for development in the commercial real estate space. 

 

What were the company’s highlights from the past year? 

 

The last year has been productive for us. We hired two new brokers, one in Broward and one in Palm Beach, and we’re continuing to add to our portfolio. Right now we have about 7.5 million square feet of commercial property under management, and roughly 6.5 million square feet listed.

 

What makes this region a compelling area for investment?

 

South Florida in general is a cosmopolitan region. In Palm Beach County, we have a population close to 1.5 million. The workforce is just under half of that. That’s a good population size with a solid workforce. Palm Beach also has a substantial office market at around 55.6 million square feet and an industrial market around 62 million square feet, but our rents are lower than our neighbors to the south.

 

In which sectors are you seeing the most growth in Palm Beach County? 

 

The medical industry has grown substantially in the Palm Beach area and as a result, many of my clients are in the healthcare sector and looking to expand their footprint. Another trend we’re seeing is that office users are needing more efficient spaces, or smaller office spaces that can fit the same or more people comfortably. Because these are usually the same buildings with the same structural footprint, parking has become a challenge. Rideshares, autonomous vehicles, public transportation and parking decks are all floated as possible solutions for this.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit their website:

https://www.bergercommercial.com/

 

South Florida to Address Heavy-Hitting Priorities Ahead of Election 2020

South Florida to Address Heavy-Hitting Priorities Ahead of Election 2020

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2019 — With its status as one of the most important swing states in federal elections, Florida’s voting pattern generally serves as a bellweather for the overall outcome. With President Donald Trump running for re-election in November 2020, South Florida’s agenda for the year is packed with contentious issues, such as gun reform, climate change and foreign policy.

 

 On Dec. 23, an appeal was filed by the state government against several Florida cities, including Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, arguing the cities were flaunting the law by applying harsher restrictions on guns than exist on a state level. “If allowed to stand, the decision will not only invite the development of a patchwork regulatory regime in the area of firearms but also render the Legislature impotent to deter power grabs by local officials in other areas,” the brief argued. The issue of gun reform is set to remain a key issue as the 2020 election nears.

Another issue coming back to the forefront is climate change, and South Florida is disproportionately affected by rising sea levels and potable water availability. In November, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed the state’s first chief science officer and the 2020 legislative session is expected to put more emphasis on climate issues. “State agencies are now beginning to collaborate on these important issues and gather at a leadership level to talk about resilience and how to plan for sea level rise,” Noah Valenstein, secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, told the Herald Tribune.

But by far, one of the most headline-grabbing issues leading up to the election will be President Trump’s flagstone immigration campaign. According to the most recent census data, about 23% of the population of Palm Beach County identify as Hispanic or Latino, and the same is true for around 19% of the Fort Lauderdale population. The Democrats chose to host their first presidential debate in Miami, a city where more than 70% of the population is Hispanic, partly because of the immigration platform.

“Latinos are still seen as a monolith,” says Liz Alarcon, a Venezuelan-American Democratic activist and author of Caracas Chronicles, told TIME magazine. “Politicians as a whole still don’t get it, and that’s a problem.”

U.S. Latin America policy is expected to play a major role in the South Florida 2020 electoral result, and Trump has been largely praised by the Latin American community for his tough stance toward Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “Florida elections always come down to margins,” Frank Mora, a professor of politics at Florida International University, told the New Yorker. “Foreign policy is intensely local in South Florida.” Because of the high concentration of Latinos in South Florida, foreign policy related to Latin America hits close to home.

It could also help decide who wins Florida in 2020.

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.flgov.com/

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/author/lizrebeccaalarcon/

https://pir.fiu.edu/people/faculty-1/faculty/frank-mora/

https://floridadep.gov/sec

 

Spotlight On: William Reichel, President, Reichel Realty & Investments

Spotlight On: William Reichel, President, Reichel Realty & Investments

By: Max Crampton-Thomas 

2 min read December 2019 — The real estate market in Palm Beach County and South Florida is one that is marked with ebbs and flows, so it takes real market knowledge to be able to successfully navigate it. Invest: spoke with local market expert William Reichel, president of Reichel Realty & Investments, on all things related to commercial real estate in the county. He spoke of embracing the current regulatory environment as opposed to holding out hope it will change, his outlook for the real estate market and some significant emerging trends in the industry. 

 

 What challenges does Palm Beach County present in terms of the commercial real estate sector? 

Generally speaking, Palm Beach County is very pro-business, but it presents challenges as well for the commercial real estate sector. So much of business growth is dependent upon the process, and the ability to deal with the complexities, various codes and government agencies within the county and its 39 municipalities. 

I had a partner who would say, “It’s harder than it used to be, but it’s easier than it’s going to be.” That means it’s important to embrace the current regulatory environment rather than holding off in hopes it may change. We focus our 30-plus years of commercial real estate experience in this market on navigating the challenges for clients, which includes knowing which professionals to utilize in the approval process depending on where in the county the project is located. 

What do you predict for the next year in the real estate market? 

The real estate market in Palm Beach County will continue to grow, and I don’t see anything stopping it. While there will be ebbs and flows, there’s a lot of capital and tremendous wealth in the area that is driving the market. As a broker, we get paid when the transaction is completed, so we are incentivized to be engaged in the whole process, to make sure that it goes smoothly, is done properly and is as timely as possible. 

What emerging trends have you observed over the last year and how have these affected demand on the market? 

One of the large, emerging trends weve seen in commercial real estate is shared office space, which has become a national phenomenon, and it’s growing here in Palm Beach County. Another trend we‘re seeing is growth of health- and fitness-related facilities that aren’t just gyms but also incorporate other modalities such as yoga, recovery, saunas and more. As the baby boomer generation gets older, they want a quality of health and fitness, which includes exercise as well as recovery. We’re seeing an influx of those types of prospects, which we believe is a terrific fit in this market, given the demographics with significant wealth, and who are willing to spend money on their health. 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.reichelrealty.com/

 

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

South Florida’s Top Five Events for the Holiday Season

By: Sara Warden

 

2 min read December 2019 — South Floridians may not expect a white Christmas, but there are still a plethora of entertainment options to get the kids into the holiday spirit. From Enchanted Forests to visits from Santa, there is plenty for all ages going on across the Miami, Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale areas. Capital Analytics counts down the top events in the run up to the big day!

1. Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

If you’re an animal lover, this is the place to be on Thursday, Dec. 19. For one day only, starting at 10.30am, guests at the Lion Country Safari park in Palm Beach will be able to leave their cars and watch as the chimps open Santa’s gifts. Entry is $39 for adults and $30 for children, and under twos go free!

Find out more here

2. Winterland at Pinto’s Farm

Located at 14890 SW 216 St, this farm park promises a huge range of activities, including holiday treats, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides and paddle boats. Why not venture into the enchanting illuminated forest and meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread cookie.

Find out more here.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Brought to you from the songwriting team behind Tony-award-winning Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, this show promises to be a festive treat for the ears. The show is based on the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, following protagonist Ralphie’s pursuit of his dream Christmas gift. Showings continue throughout the festive season and tickets are priced at $49-65, with discounts available for teachers and students.

Find out more here.

4. Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

With over 100 rides, shows and attractions, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is sure to spread the Christmas cheer. Running from the end of October until Jan. 5, the fun takes place at 7900 SW 40th Street and promises 3 million lights and a 92-inch Christmas tree, all within an amusement park. Tickets start at $28.60 for children and seniors.

Find out more here.

5. Brightline for The Polar Express train rides

Across selected dates from mid-November until Dec. 29, families can take the one-hour Polar Express train on the brand new Brightline route. Singing, dancing, cookies and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep both the kids and adults happy before Santa climbs on board to hand out some Christmas gifts to the girls and boys on the nice list. Prices start from $55 for an adult and $50 for a child.

Find out more here

Florida: Home of the Real First Thanksgiving?

Florida: Home of the Real First Thanksgiving?

By: Sara Warden

2 min read November 2019 — When we think of Thanksgiving, generally we conjure up images of hats with oversized buckles, turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and The Mayflower. But according to historian Kathleen Deagan, research curator emerita of historical archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the first Thanksgiving was not exactly as we may imagine. Rather than taking place in Plymouth, the first Thanksgiving feast was actually celebrated in Florida.

 

The meal was shared by the Spanish Conquistadors and the native Timucuans, more than 50 years before the Mayflower arrived on American shores, according to historians. Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, a Spanish explorer and 800 soldiers and sailors landed on Florida’s shores near St. Augustine before holding the Mass of Thanksgiving.

“The holiday we celebrate today is really something that was invented in a sense,” said Deagan in an interview with the University of Florida. “By the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, the people who settled America’s first colony with Menéndez probably had children and grandchildren living there.”

So instead of buckled shoes and hats, think suits of armor and 16th century Spanish garb. Instead of turkey, think salted pork, and instead of pumpkin pie, think garbanzo beans, olives and hard sea biscuits. “It was the first community act of religion and thanksgiving in the first permanent settlement in the land,” wrote University of Florida professor emeritus of history Michael Gannon in his book The Cross in the Sand.

Other sources say there were many other “Thanksgiving” ceremonies in Florida well before even Menéndez, including the landing of French explorer Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière at Jacksonville in 1564, Hernando de Soto in 1529 and Juan Ponce de León in 1513. After approximately 70 days at sea, all most likely would have had to depend on the kindness of the natives for food and shelter when they landed on American shores.

Some argue that the Plymouth mass is remembered as the first Thanksgiving because it was the first that spawned a yearly tradition. “None of these events were made anything of historically, or even rediscovered, until the 20th century, and thus did not contribute to our modern American holiday tradition,” said James W. Baker, author of Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday. 

But regardless of where the first holiday was held, the true meaning behind Thanksgiving has evolved to symbolize coming together with friends and neighbors to break bread and overcome differences. There is no doubt that this tradition has immense relevance for states such as Florida, with their rich patchwork of cultures. “The fact is, the first colony was a melting pot and the cultural interactions of the many groups of people in the colony were much more like the U.S. is today than the British colonies ever were,” said Gifford Waters, historical archaeology collection manager at the Florida Museum.

To learn more, visit: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/

 

Spotlight On: Jesse Flowers, Community President, CenterState Bank

Spotlight On: Jesse Flowers, Community President, CenterState Bank

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

 

2 minute read November 2019 — Staying competitive and emerging as a leader in a crowded banking field takes smart growth strategies, remaining cognizant of trends in the industry and an ever-increasing focus on the technological wants and needs of customers. Jesse Flowers, the community president for CenterState Bank, spoke to Invest: about how his bank is ensuring continued growth into the future.  

How does your bank ensure continued and sustainable growth? 

 

We continue to grow, hire more people and expand our client base. We are always looking for acquisitions and good partnerships. We have acquired five banks over the last six years in South Florida, and all of them have been a strong fit. We want to make sure that our culture fits with the companies we acquire. We still run like a small bank, and all our decisions are made locally.

 

We stick to our fundamentals. We make sure that the loans that we provide are to good, qualified borrowers that can withstand a recession. On the commercial lending side, most of the demand is driven by real estate. We are paying close attention to where we are in the real estate cycle because Florida is mostly driven by tourism and real estate.

 

What is a particular trend you are keeping a close eye on? 

 

Banking is always changing. One of the trends that we have seen over the last five years is people using alternative lenders. Whether it be hedge funds, internet lenders or hard-equity lenders, a high number of those lenders have stepped into the market, more than they used to in the past. That might continue to be a trend because they are often able to be more flexible on the terms and conditions of their loans due to less regulation.

 

How does CenterState Bank remain client-focused in a rapidly changing banking environment? 

 

People are more focused on technology. We have to focus on the services that people want, like better and easier online technology. Those are the services that are expanding with people using phone and online banking. CenterState has invested in technology over the last several years because we know how important it is. Now, with open source platforms, access is getting cheaper, and we have hired in-house programming professionals to develop software for us.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.centerstatebank.com/

South Florida Collective Combats Gentrification in Palm Beach

South Florida Collective Combats Gentrification in Palm Beach

By: Sara Warden

 

2 min read November 2019 — As the 2018 federal tax code kicks into effect, capping deductibility of state and local taxes, demand has skyrocketed for luxury real estate in low-taxing states such as Florida. In the third quarter of 2019, the median price for a luxury home in Palm Beach tripled on the year to $21 million compared with $7.7 million in the same quarter of 2018.

As luxury house prices increase, single family and condo prices are also going up, according to a report by real estate appraisers Miller Samuel. In 3Q19, average sales prices for a condo reached $418,849, up 4.4% on 3Q18, and for a single family home the average price was $11.4 million, up 121.6% on the year. Tellingly, average price per square foot was up across the board, at $1,468/ft2 for a single family home during the quarter compared with $1,363/ft2.

The area is quickly gentrifying, with the Virgin Trains USA express service that runs through the county also pulling up house prices and pushing down affordability. In this environment, creating affordable housing for the residents of Palm Beach becomes ever more pressing. Now, the public and private sectors are joining forces to take action and create the South Florida Housing Link Collaborative, an ambitious affordable housing project. 

The project will target the route of the Brightline, deploying a $5 million investment by JP Morgan Chase to upgrade existing units and build new, more affordable accommodation. “Transport is the biggest expense after housing,” said Mandy Bartle, executive director of the South Florida Community Land Trust (SFCLT), to the Miami Herald. “We decided to hone in on this corridor because the people who most need public transit are a lot of the folks who already live in these areas near the railway and are the most likely to get pushed out by gentrification.”

As well as the $5 million in direct investment in the project, it is expected to garner $75 million in external capital from both the public and private sectors. Joining the SFCLT is the Community Land Trust of Palm Beach County, nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, Florida Community Loan Fund, and the Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF). SELF provides small loans to homeowners for solar energy or hurricane-resilience technologies, providing $10 million worth of loans in their 10 years in business.

Duanne Andrade, the chief financial officer at SELF, said in an interview with Next City that those living on the path of new transit projects are often the most vulnerable to gentrification. Cindee LaCourse-Blum, executive director of the Palm Beach County CLT, added that climate change compounds the problem. 

“Housing and transportation eats up the majority of incomes in Palm Beach County, in addition to the risks that we are seeing with climate change and sea-level rise and a lot of people coming back into the urban corridor and gentrifying those neighborhoods,” she said to the same publication. “What I’m hoping to see is that residents of these communities have access to safe, affordable, resilient housing, and they’re not pushed out of their neighborhoods.”

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

http://southfloridahousinglink.org/

https://www.millersamuel.com/

https://southfloridaclt.org/

https://cltofpbc.org/

https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/

https://fclf.org/

https://solarenergyloanfund.org/