Medical marijuana boosts commercial real estate

December 6, 2010

To say the issue of medical marijuana is a polarizing one is a little bit of an understatement. The debate when it comes to real estate is even more challenging, with some people eager to rent out space to legal marijuana dispensaries and others saying no way.

The Boulder Daily Camera discussed this issue in a recent article titled “Medical marijuana gives Boulder commercial real estate a boost.”

Most of what these marijuana growers are looking for is warehouse space, according to the article, ranging from a couple thousand square feet to 50,000. Retail dispensaries lease between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet.

Dan Ferrick, a commercial real estate broker with Gibbons-White Inc., said that a rush for medical marijuana real estate hit its peak in 2009, saying “the phones were off the hook” with 10 to 15 calls a week.

As more and more regulation was instituted, the calls became few and far between he said. Then a new law required all medical marijuana businesses to grow 70 percent of their product. All of a sudden, people wanted warehouse space again.

Some brokers and real estate firms declined to comment for the article in the Boulder Daily Camera, acknowledging that they had clients in the industry, but not willing to offer any other details, as other clients strongly opposed this idea.

So we’re curious what you think: Is the medical marijuana industry really good for commercial real estate? Or is it something that brokers shouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole?

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