The earth is 70% water, and only God can create more land. With both a scarcity and abundance mentality, nearly four years ago, my wife and I purchased our first home in Worcester, MA. Also around that time, I started working in the renewable energy field, which economically co-exists with real estate. We live in the second most populated city in New England, next to Boston and shortly, most of the state will be flooded with marijuana. If you are a homeowner, you might be wondering, how will that marijuana grow or retail store change the economics of my property values and real estate?
Good news, according to Leafly.com, retail marijuana shops increase neighboring property values at an accelerated rate. The illegal market (unregulated) makes up for 60% of national marijuana sales and many consumers; the legal market will only change their buying habits. With the legal market, there is no need to coordinate at local Stop & Shop parking lot with your homie from high school who is still holding weed. The state of Massachusetts is a national leader in many public and private sectors such as Education, Renewable energy, and Healthcare. Real estate, Renewable energy, and Marijuana markets work together to make the state a unique outlier in the nation. I spend my days indulged in learning more about the legal marijuana market and renewable energy, which both depends on federal initiatives, state regulation, local real estate and public access to information.
First and foremost, federal regulation on marijuana treats weed in the same class as heroin, which is wrong. Pot-heads and heroin addicts have many differentiating traits, primarily people who enjoy weed don’t steal they share. In many cases, pot people continuously have marijuana on them. With a consistent stash on them at all time, comes consistent habits and your friends and family are familiar with how much you smoke, so you share. You share weed, food, rides, and good times. On the flip side, heroin addicts steal from their family and friends. They take so they can pawn and trade valuables for cash and barter heroin. What do sharing and stealing have to do with marijuana real estate? Since the federal government still classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug, states who have legalized marijuana are left to implement regulations and security is a crucial component of marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and retail.
Currently, my company has two sites under agreement and diversion prevention is an essential component. One of our retail properties has two residential tenants living upstairs. The residents bring normalcy to the business. I sold marijuana out of my parent’s house, and college rooms. And we’ve all been to the corner store where tenants are living upstairs, or you could be that tenant if you live in a major city or urban area. The largest risk with diversion exists within employees and partners and not so much the with community or neighbors. I look forward to working with local communities to increase safety and property values!