Commercial Real Estate Organization Warns About the Smell of Cannabis

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In a report by the National Association of Realtors, it was revealed that there’s been a significant increase in warehouse, storefront and commercial real-estate opportunities for medical and adult-use cannabis tenants. 

Landlords are now finding themselves receiving offers from cannabis operations, and not all of them are keen on allowing cannabis sales or growth on their property.

But despite reporting a 23 percent increase in demand for storefronts, and that 25 percent of commercial real estate realtors have seen an increase in demand for land from cannabis companies—the organization identified cannabis odor as the top complaint that landlords deal with after renting to cannabis companies. 

One of the biggest concerns many property owners have is the fact that most of the market runs on an all-cash basis. This is due to the fact that cannabis remains illegal on a federal level. Therefore, most national banks aren’t willing to lend out loans or other banking services to the cannabis industry, although a law was just passed that will allow more access to banking. 

However, working on a cash relationship isn’t the biggest complaint. You may be surprised to learn, “[it’s] the smell. You can’t get rid of it,” Jessica Lautz, vice president of behavioral insight at the National Association of Realtors, told WTOP News. “And moisture. If you’re growing on that property or using on that property, those are the two biggest concerns.”

Even if cannabis isn’t consumed on a property, many landlords prefer not to work with it altogether. The main reason for this is they’re likely going to have to re-lease these properties, and not everyone is keen on having a warehouse or storefront smell like San Francisco’s Hippie Hill on 4/20.

Luckily, a number of cannabis businesses are starting to simply purchase land or retail storefronts rather than renting. Of course, this is much more expensive (initially) and requires an entrepreneur to have a large sum of capital on-hand.

Still, landlords of residential properties are also concerned about cannabis alongside legalization. It is not typical for landlords of residential properties to outright permit cannabis to be smoked inside. However, as you can imagine, not all cannabis-consuming renters are following that rule.

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