The Denver Post
Real estate brokers say that Colorado's medical-marijuana law has sparked a land rush, as entrepreneurs lured by a growing number of licensed users search for properties for growing or selling pot.
In a down real estate market, landlords who might otherwise wait for more conventional tenants are snapping at the opportunity presented by medical-marijuana dispensaries, said Darrin Revious, a broker with Shames Makovsky Realty.
"I am working a couple of these deals right now," he said. "It is absolutely crazy how many of these deals are in the market. I can't believe it."
Since voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000 allowing the use of medical marijuana to treat eight specific conditions, the number of people legally allowed to buy the herb has steadily climbed. In 2007, 1,955 people held medical marijuana cards; the following year, there were 4,720 people on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Medical Marijuana Registry. The number has grown to about 13,000, health department spokesman Mark Salley said.
On an average day, the department receives 400 requests for medical-marijuana cards, and some days applications are as high as 600, Salley said.
Revious said he receives at least one request per day from brokers representing people seeking property suitable for grow operations or dispensaries, where medical pot is sold to card-carrying patients. Over the past three or four months, he said, demand for the properties has soared.
"I need (5,000 square feet in) LoDo, or there about . . . retail," says one e-mail he received from a broker. "Wellness center — yes, medical marijuana. A group expanding out of California — a real one."
Warren Edson, an attorney who handles medical-marijuana cases and advises people trying to set up cannabis collectives and cooperatives, said he believes the rise in demand is related to the increasing number of patients approved to buy the drug.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Denver Post