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Field Guide to the Impact of Legalized Marijuana

(Updated September 2015)

Regardless of your area of real estate expertise, your real estate market, or where you stand on the issue of legalized marijuana, the impact of marijuana use and production continues to be felt across the country…and throughout the real estate industry. That impact will only continue to grow as more states legalize marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes.

From illegal grow houses to commercial dispensaries -- and from landlord/tenant issues to employer/employee concerns -- this field guide offers articles, reports, and other resources to help “clear the air” for residential and commercial real estate practitioners, property managers, and brokerage managers alike.  (M. Martinez-Garcia, Manager, Library Collection Development)

Property Management Concerns

Medical Marijuana in Property Management, (Institute of Real Estate Management, 2015).

Legalized Marijuana: A New Meaning to ‘Going Green’ in Real Estate, (RISMedia, Apr. 26, 2015).

Attorney gets into the weeds on marijuana and commercial real estate, (Sacramento Business Journal, Mar. 12, 2015).

Can You Just Say No? Marijuana is becoming legal in more states, which may make it tougher for landlords seeking to enforce their own bans, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2015).

Rents, Refi's, and Reefer Madness, (GPSolo, 2015). Q

5 ways marijuana legalization affects real estate, (MarketWatch.com, Nov. 25, 2014).

Legalization of Marijuana has Numerous Real Estate Implications, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 8, 2014).

State Marijuana Laws Don’t Protect Your Property, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 9, 2014).

Medical Marijuana Issues Hazy for Single-Family Homes, (REALTOR® Magazine – Daily Real Estate News, May 16, 2014).

Marijuana is Starting to Intersect with Real Estate, (National Association of REALTORS® - Speaking of Real Estate, Jan. 6, 2014).

Medical Marijuana: State Laws Versus Federal Laws, and How They Affect Property Managers, (Journal of Property Management, 2014). Q

Real Estate Opportunities

Marijuana Producers Gobble Up Warehouse Space in Denver Area, (The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 25, 2015).

Now That Medical Marijuana Is Real, It Becomes a Real Estate Question, (Commercial Observer, Aug. 5, 2015).

The Pot Effect on Denver’s Housing Market, (CNN Money, Jun. 4, 2015).

Oregon marijuana growers vie for real estate as they prepare for recreational market, (The Oregonian, Jan. 20,  2015).

Pot Businesses Need You to Clear the Haze: The legalization of marijuana in many states has led owners of cannabis-related enterprises to seek out commercial practitioners for help in securing property, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2015).

Renters Living the High Life in Colorado, Washington, (Apartment Guide blog, Apr. 14, 2014).

Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

Colorado top court says Dish worker can be fired for medical marijuana, (CNN Money, Jun. 15, 2015).

The workplace and medical marijuana: Employer guidelines for navigating the legal haze, (Inside Counsel, Apr. 15, 2015).

Can your boss stop you from smoking medical marijuana at work?, (San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 6, 2015).

What If Your Agent Smokes Pot? Employment laws are getting murkier around the issue of medical marijuana. If an agent tests positive, you may not be able to outright fire them, (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov. 2014).

Grow Houses

Marihuana Grow Operations and Synthetic Drug Labs: What REALTORS® Need to Know, (Canadian Real Estate Association, n.d.)

Pot power a pricey concern for Vegas’ medical marijuana industry, (Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mar. 10, 2015).

Neighbors: Marijuana grow house smelling up Commerce City neighborhood; Neighbors complain to HOA, (ABC7 News – Denver, Jan. 24, 2015).

What's Lurking Behind Those Walls? Illegal drug activity in a home, even from years ago, can come back to taint a real estate transaction, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sep. 2014).

Are Your Neighbors Running a Hidden Marijuana Operation?, (AOL Real Estate, July 25, 2012).

Grow houses crop up in foreclosures, (MSN Money, May 7, 2012).

Foreclosed Houses Become Homes for Indoor Marijuana Farms, (The New York Times, May 6, 2012).

TECO: Pot grow houses steal about $1 million a year in electricity, (The Tampa Tribune, May 22, 2009).

White paper on marijuana dispensaries, (California Police Chiefs Association, 2009).

A growing solution, (Tampa Bay Online—The Pasco Tribune, Dec. 28, 2008).

Can grow houses be inhabited again, (Tampa Bay Online—Highlands Today, June 24, 2007).

Grow ops: what REALTORS® need to know, (The Canadian Real Estate Association, Dec. 2004).

Marijuana grow houses: Florida's silently growing epidemic, by Lt. Dale Ritchhart, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Landlord Law (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Landlord.com Ultimate Landlord Handbook (Adobe eReader)

Complete Landlord and Property Managers Legal Survival Kit (Adobe eReader, EPUB)

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (Adobe eReader)

Strategies for Working with Small Tenants (EPUB)

What Every Landlord Needs to Know (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Dealing with Stigmatized Properties

Field Guide to Meth Labs

Field Guide to Mold & Health Issues

Field Guide to the Warehouse Market

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.