Coworking Enters The Cannabis Industry With Podwerks

CECILIA AMADOR
ALLWORK

“We want to get the cannabis industry out of the ‘hidden environment’ idea of houses and backyards. We want to cultivate an ecosystem, a conducive atmosphere for education, marketing, and growth of cannabis.” – Matthew Arnett

Podwerks is a niche specific coworking space that’s targeting ‘cannapreneurs’ and the cannabis industry at large. Founded by Frank Yglesias and Matt Arnett, Podwerks aims to be a one-stop shop for cannabis entrepreneurs. “We want to provide individuals with a secure, controlled space where they can grow plants in a more efficient and economic manner; and also provide them with a space where they can create, produce, sell, and market their cannabis products.”

Matt and Frank were introduced to the coworking industry back in 2014. Matt tells us that at the time, he was doing some consulting work with WeWork. “WeWork was planning its market entry for China, and being based in China and having some clients interested in collaborating and working with WeWork, together we started to build strategies that would be beneficial for all. That’s how I got an in-depth look into what coworking was and how it worked.”

The Idea

“We had this unplanned integration and expansion into the coworking environment. One day we got the idea that we really just wanted to create a happier and more fun future for the world.”

Asked about why they decided to create Podwerks, both founders explained that their vision and what motivates them is that they believe “the cannabis industry can be a new pillar in the economy of the US and the world.” They want to create a space where like-minded individuals can “cooperate to find the best practices for the industry, find a sustainable growth method, and work alongside government institutions.”

According to Matt and Frank, there’s a rapid rise of cannabis entrepreneurs in the US, and Podwerks hopes to play an essential role in moving forward the industry and helping clarify the uncertainty surrounding regulation.

“Our biggest challenge so far has been the uncertainty of regulation. Because we can’t control that, we are offering Podwerks as a sort of guinea pig; try this model and see how it goes. We want to build an understanding of how the entire cannabis industry works. This is what makes Podwerks so unique; it provides an opportunity for local governments to build relationships with local growers. It will also allow the government to educate new growers and it can help eliminate the black market by providing distribution oversight.”

How it works

Podwerks provides community pods that members can use to grow their plants. “Each pod comes with security, access control, wireless cameras, monitoring systems that regulate the CO2 and pH water levels.”

The number of pods per location varies by the physical area. “Our focus is urban sites, so vacant lots that can hold between 15 to 30 pods are what we are looking for. Other than the pods, the space will include bathrooms, working space, cafes, and a boutique where members can sell their cannabis products.”

The pods were created and are equipped with cutting-edge technology.

“The shell of the pod can withstand sub-zero temperatures, which means winter weather won’t be an issue for growers in any region. They also limit humidity, absorb excess heat, and are energy-efficient. Additionally, all the pods with have solar panels on the ‘roof’.”

Podwerks is also embracing the power of AI and data by partnering with WUN Systems.

“Through the software we are using we can collect data, monitor it, and with it control and activate processes within the pod remotely. We see the future of creating a fully automated growth cycle that can lead to a complete seamless experience that can change the cannabis industry for the better.”

Podwerks is the first of its kind, both in the flexible workspace industry and in the cannabis industry. Frank and Matt have identified 6 core markets to launch their disruptive and innovative workspace concept: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Maine, and Massachusetts.