Study: Cannabis Businesses Are Leasing More Properties than Purchasing

A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that legal cannabis companies are far more likely to rent than purchase real estate for their operations.

Full story after the jump.

According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) study, the share of its members purchasing real estate for cannabis operations compared to those leasing properties fell from 29% to 18% since 2021. Commercial real estate practitioners are also seeing increased demand for warehouses, land, and storefronts for cannabis operations.  

The study, Marijuana and Real Estate: A Budding Issue, found 45% of commercial landlords in states where cannabis has been legal the longest are willing to take cash for rent, up from 42% in 2021.

In a statement, Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research, said that “As more states adopt cannabis laws, realtors are at the forefront of commercial real estate activity and are working with clients to find land, warehouses and storefronts for this growing business.”

In states where only medical cannabis use is legal, 23% had seen an increased demand in storefronts, 14% in warehouses and 7% in land. In states where both medical and adult cannabis use is legal, 25% to 29% of members had seen an increased demand in warehouses, 18% in storefronts and 13% to 15% in land, the study found.

The study also found that fewer realtors are seeing lease addendums that prohibit growing cannabis on properties; 27% of realtors in states that allow both medical and adult cannabis prior to 2018 have seen addendums added to leases that restrict growing on properties, down from 44% in 2021. Addendums related to smoking are also on the decline in legal states.

In states where adult-use cannabis has been legal for more than five years, 65% of residential property managers have seen addendums added to leases restricting smoking on properties, down from 76% two years ago. For states that legalized within the past five years, 56% saw smoking addendums, down from 59% in 2021, the report says. In contrast, states that only allow medical cannabis use saw an increase in addendums added to leases that restrict smoking on properties, jumping from 40% to 62% in the past two years.

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