Stephanie Smith is a real estate developer, cannabis activist, aspiring painter and a psilocybin advocate. Initially known as Stephanie Darcy, Steph desired to inspire change around her since her childhood. She wanted to change the struggling lifestyle she endured with her “liberal hippie family” in Minnesota. After relocating to Boston to pursue a degree in liberal arts, she was ready to move and went to Arizona to pursue a career in professional golf. After satisfying handicaps, Steph left quickly to attend UCLA business school in California.
Steph is also a professional bohemian, birthday party expert and a mother of five amazing kids. She has acknowledged advocating for the commercial sale of legalized weed and has spearheaded attempts to include legalization measures in several city ballots. Being a real estate developer and entrepreneur, Steph is a landlord who only leases her buildings to marijuana cultivators but does not participate in her tenants’ activities.
Steph Smith’s Industrial Partners Group (IPG) owns over two million square feet of industrial space, mainly in Southern California where in addition to leasing space to marijuana cultivators and manufacturers, it leases space to other firms such as Walmart, a maker of airplane parts, food trucks commissary, roll-up door construction company, and a company that sells heavy equipment attachments. She is also not involved in the operations of these companies within her premises. At IPG, Steph manages finances, operations, and finances. Combining 15 years of experience in real estate development with environmental passion, she prioritizes projects that focus on “green building” practices and the utilization of solar and water reclamation systems.
Stephanie has been leasing property for marijuana growers and manufacturers in Southern California for a long time after a pleasant surprise from a cannabis bidding war that ensued from one of the warehouse listings she thought was excellent for a laundromat. The bidding war gave her a quick lesson on the market rate and the available interest rate. Besides indoor cultivation, she manages 50 cannabis properties and modifies industrial spaces for processing, manufacturing, and extraction. Smith realized that real estate and social justice could allow her to advocate for the marijuana issue effectively, that is, being a professional landlord and making tenants comply with things like paperwork, insurance, and legal compliance, would allow her to help a sector that she believed in.
Steph thought she was the only landlord when she engaged her first cannabis growing tenant in Los Angeles. She did not understand the market trends because no one was talking about what was happening. After enjoying the experience of leasing to her first cannabis tenant, Steph conducted some research into the cannabis industry and started widening her portfolio from then to include more cannabis-friendly properties.
Unlike many other landlords, Steph Smith is not after the highest paying tenant. She values the relationship with her tenants and picks the person she believes would be successful in the space. She says this has been her motto from the start and ensures to lease only upgraded, safe, and secure buildings for cannabis cultivation since some landlords lease properties with insufficient power, which forces the tenant to upgrade the property. She seeks experienced and professional individuals and does not necessarily lease for people who offer the most for her property, but those who will succeed the most. She considers leasing to cannabis tenants as a method of advancing the whole industry.
Besides being a landlord for marijuana tenants, Steph has been a forefront advocate for equal rights of marijuana cultivators by suing San Bernardino over the new marijuana-license ordinance by claiming that the ordinance monopolizes certain marijuana licenses and prohibits anybody who has been associated with cannabis from accessing the market, she has also gone to the offensive seeking an equal distribution of cannabis permits. Moreover, she has demonstrated a history of advocating for the rights of children and supporting impoverished communities. This is evident in employing 45 permanent staff from disadvantaged communities and supporting students at Operation New Hope Charter School.
Stephanie Smith has worked hard to make her company among the largest landlords in California. She is not afraid to acknowledge that she is a politically active cannabis activist who challenges government legislation and protects civil rights at the highest level. Although Steph has advocated for various social justice concerns, some mainstream media outlets have portrayed her as a cannabis “queen pin,” a title she feels is a better description of her ability to manage a successful enterprise, raise a family of five children, and organize epic children’s events. Besides, Steph has been a member of Pacific Palisade Woman’s Club and the Everychild Foundation, an organization that aims at raising funds for needy children.
Steph believes that she has succeeded in this venture because many cannabis entrepreneurs were used to dealing with landlords who refused to lease them their properties or compelled them to use fake names so they could feign ignorance. Steph injected some professionalism and treated marijuana tenants like ordinary tenants. Stephanie is discreet about her clients and is adamant when dealing with her famous hip-hop clients.
Steph considers her work in the cannabis sector to be a form of activism. She says this election cycle is different because it is the first time she is going to the streets. She argues that police are misinformed about modern cannabis ideas and should change their perception to stop impeding the public’s acceptance of marijuana legalization. Steph embraced the name “queenpin” to be a complement of her cannabis sector leadership. Steph has publicly announced that leasing to cannabis ventures is more profitable than renting to other tenants. It has very high demand that she at one time received triple the rent she initially asked.