Challenges of Acquiring Cannabis Real Estate

Locating commercial real estate for use of a legal cannabis enterprise can be quite difficult. Some of the difficulties lie in the inherent opinion of the Landlords. Being that cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug under Federal statute, many commercial landlords are not willing to put themselves in that type of perceived risk, no matter how lucrative the rental rate may be. In addition, there are many legal issues that need to be addressed with legal counsel. This includes addressing the environmental concerns and whether pesticides and herbicides will be stored on the property, and how the cannabis will be disposed of. Moreover, any real estate transaction can have some degree of risk, and utilizing an attorney is always recommended, but renting to a legal cannabis business is increasingly commonplace, especially when you have an experienced cannabis real estate agent helping you along the way.

Another common difficulty when locating an eligible piece of property for either a purchase or a lease is the limitation that the city puts on zoning and buffers between certain establishments. For example, in Los Angeles, any cannabis retail store has to be located at least 1,000 feet from schools (K-12) and 600 feet from day cares (including preschools), public parks, public libraries, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, and other cannabis stores. In addition, eligible cannabis retail stores have to be at least 300 feet from offsite alcohol sales, such as liquor stores. Seeing that there is an extensive amount of work that needs to be invested in any property, to ensure success, hiring an experienced legal cannabis professional is always the recommended route.

Competition in the cannabis industry will always be present and will always be an indicator of the kind of success that it can bring the cannabis entrepreneur. Whether it is another real estate agent looking for their client, or an online cannabis property acquisitions company, there is not one property that is listed that has not been bombarded with questions and a substantial offer been made. Knowing how to leverage these types of properties can be difficult, but it is certainly manageable.

There are a number of online resources that I have spent an abundant amount of time on. For example, there are websites that pose similar to “Craigslist” specifically for cannabis properties that are listed by either the owner of the property or by a listing agent. The only issue with these websites is that many of the properties are old listings, non-existent, or the listing is a fake advertisement to work with the agent that posted it. Whatever the case may be, working with people who have experience in the cannabis real estate industry would be any entrepreneur’s best bet to get into a property that they approve of and will flourish from. The licensing process for a legal cannabis business can certainly be challenging, but before the process can begin, properly zoned cannabis real estate must be acquired.

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